Public Safety Director 'Offended' By Report Into Canceled Sting

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Ohio Senate hearings continue Wednesday into a canceled criminal sting at the Governor's Residence, and Department of Public Safety Director Cathy Collins-Taylor was among those expected to face questioning.

The committee will determine whether Collins-Taylor should be confirmed in her role as director.

The hearings follow a report by Ohio Inspector General Tom Charles that suggested Collins-Taylor acted for political reasons when she canceled a criminal investigation involving inmates on work detail.

WEB EXTRAS:  Hearing Subpoena | Grendell's Letter | Case Timeline  | Read Goodman's Letter To Strickland (PDF File) | SPECIAL SECTION:  10 Investigates

Four months after 10 Investigates first uncovered details surrounding the canceled operation, Collins-Taylor denied lying about her involvement in the case.  She took offense with Charles' findings, saying she never withheld the truth or stretched it in any way.

"Not at all," Collins-Taylor said.  "I am offended over the fact that I have been called a liar."

Collins-Taylor said she became involved with the operation after the plan was already made and after the governor's attorney called her about it.   

She said she called the head of corrections, who convinced her that the prisoners were planning to drop tobacco at the Governor's Residence, not drugs, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported.

Collins-Taylor said that was when she and a subordinate discussed issuing a warning to a person who was allegedly involved in the drop. 

She said she considered it safer than the risk of allowing a crime to occur near the Governor's Residence, but her own State Highway Patrol investigators recently determined that the original plan was safe.

"There were a lot of problems with this plan," Collins-Taylor said.

"I still challenge that."

As Senate hearings continue, 10 Investigates learned on Tuesday that Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said his office was reviewing the case to determine whether it would pursue criminal charges.

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Previous Stories:

May 14, 2010: Subpoenas Out, Confirmation Hearings Will Focus On Whether Public Safety Director Lied
May 13, 2010: Bill Introduced To Review Prisoner Work Program
May 11, 2010: Safety Director Denied Aborting Sting, Recordings Show
May 5, 2010: Strickland Asked To Suspend Inmate Program Where He Lives
April 29, 2010: Report: 'Political Embarrassment' Key Factor In Canceled Sting
April 28, 2010:  'No Holds Barred' Report Expected About Gov. Residence Incident
March 24, 2010:  Senate Hearings Continue On Canceled Drug Sting At Gov's Residence
March 22, 2010: Canceled Hearings On Drug Sting Will Continue
March 17, 2010: E-Mails Show Drug Sting May Have Been Stopped For Political Reasons
February 24, 2010: Cover Up Allegations Follow Canceled Drug Sting
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