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Cover Up Allegations Follow Canceled Drug Sting

A former Ohio Highway Patrol colonel sees the canceled drug sting at the Governor's Residence as being politics over public safety.

An Ohio Senate committee set the stage for upcoming hearings on Wednesday about a canceleddrug sting at the Governor's Residence.

Former Ohio State Highway Patrol Col. Thomas Rice blasted the decision to call off a sting thatallegedly involved an inmate.

Patrol records showed that troopers thought the inmate was going to have his wife drop off drugsat the residence so that the inmate crew who works there could smuggle them in.

WEB EXTRA:  Case Timeline | SPECIAL SECTION: 10Investigates

Troopers had a sting operation planned and approved, but as 10 Investigates first exposed, OhioPublic Safety Director Cathy Collins-Taylor canceled the operation at the last minute. 

"It was almost laughable to me that troopers were not allowed to do their duty to make an arrestfor what could have been a drug conveyance at the Governor's Residence," Rice said.

Last week, Col. David Dicken of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said safety was the reason for thecancellation.

"We thought it was a gross violation of officer safety," Dicken said last week.

"I think a trooper working the night shift along I-71 would be in considerably more danger,"Rice said on Wednesday.

Senate investigators also had doubts, Aker reported.

Dicken claimed that he had not read the investigative report but said he was not sure whetherthe case really involved drugs, contraband or some sort of tobacco.

"This sounds like obstruction of justice to me," said Ohio State Sen. Tim Grendell, aChesterland Republican.  "Here's what I believe is part of a cover-up to an unwarranted andunnecessary criminal investigation that should have been allowed to have been completed."

Grendell said that he plans to prove his point as he begins formal hearings next week.  Hesaid that he will call in everyone to testify who was involved. If they don't come, Grendell saidthat he would subpoena them.

Stay with 10TV News and 10TV.com for continuing coverage.

Previous Stories:

February 23, 2010:  Concerns Linger About Alcohol, Inmates Inside Governor's Residence
February 17, 2010:  10 Investigates' Probe Prompts Senate Hearing
February 2, 2010:   Patrol Changes Investigation Involving Major 
February 1, 2010:   Ex-Colonel Wants Investigation Into Alleged Gov. Residence Plot
January 29, 2010:   Ohio Highway Patrol Official Ousted Over Alleged Gov. Residence Plot
January 28, 2010:   Strickland Confident How Patrol Handled Sting Outside His Mansion
January 27, 2010:   Woman At Center Of Alleged Drug Deal Governor's Mansion Explains Ordeal
January 26, 2010:   Patrol Tips Off Woman Suspected In Drug Deal At Governor's Mansion