Safety Director Denied Aborting Sting, Recordings Show

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Ohio's interim Director of Public Safety denied making the decision to call off a January drug sting at the Governor's Residence, according to audio recordings 10 Investigates obtained on Tuesday.

The recordings of Cathy Collins-Taylor were made with her under oath as she spoke with investigators, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported.

TESTIMONY:  Cathy Collins-Taylor | Ohio State Highway Patrol Col. David Dicken |  Former ODRC Director Terry Collins | SPECIAL SECTION:  10 Investigates

 

From the start, Collins-Taylor's public information officer told us that she was involved in the decision to cancel the sting and to warn a woman who Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers thought was going to drop drugs at the residence.

Ohio Inspector General Thomas Charles' report found cover-up, obstruction and lies at the Ohio Department of Public Safety to spare Gov. Ted Strickland political embarrassment.

Investigators said that they did not believe Collins-Taylor told the truth.  She denied making the decision to call off the sting despite previous statements from her office that she was involved. 

Collins-Taylor claimed no decision was made when she spoke with Terry Collins, who was the Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

According to Collins' testimony, which was also recorded, Collins-Taylor outlined a plan to warn the suspect.

"She said that they would go out and tell the person that they knew that her boyfriend was locked up and there wasn't going to be anything going on," Collins said.
           
After the conversation, e-mails showed that Collins-Taylor called the canceled sting a "caper" and wrote, "I think we have a succeeded in a grand down scaling."

She still insisted to investigators at that point that no decision had been made.

"It was (Ohio State Highway Patrol Col. David Dicken's) decision to make," Collins-Taylor said.

Despite the audio recordings and the conclusions of investigators, Strickland said that Charles, whom he appointed to office, made the wrong conclusions.

"I want to be very clear, I support (Collins-Taylor) thoroughly," Strickland said last week.  "I think she's done nothing wrong." 

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

Previous Stories:

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