Subpoenas Out, Confirmation Hearings Will Focus On Whether Public Safety Director Lied

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The Ohio Senate Criminal Judiciary Committee on Friday summoned 15 people to confirmation hearings for Public Safety Director Cathy Collins-Taylor.

Sen. Timothy Grendell, a Republican, issued subpoenas for 11 people; he sent a letter of "invitation" to another four people, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported.

Grendell has asked for Collins-Taylor's appearance, but has not demanded it, Aker reported.

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

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

The primary focus of the hearings will be whether she has lied to the Inspector General's investigators, Grendell said.

Inspector General Thomas Charles released a scathing report on April 24  that concluded Collins-Taylor lied in her sworn testimony.

Investigators wanted to know whether she was responsible for aborting a criminal sting-operation outside the Governor's Residence.

Investigators believed drugs were to be dropped for a prison inmate working at the residence, but high level leaders later said it might have been tobacco, Aker reported.

Collins-Taylor has denied she was untruthful. Her lawyer, a Strickland campaign contributor, has said the report was based on "scurrilous fabrications."

In audio recordings of the investigative interview 10 Investigates obtained last week, further doubt was raised about Collins-Taylor's claims.

Shortly after receiving a phone call from Strickland's top lawyer about the sting operation, Collins-Taylor called  Terry Collins, then director of the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Despite Collins-Taylor's vehement denials that any decision was made to warn people about the drop, Collins stated in his sworn testimony that Collins-Taylor advised him the plan was to warn the woman authorities thought was planning to drop drugs.

"(Troopers) would go out and tell the person that they knew... and there wasn't going to be anything going on," Collins said.

The hearings were expected to be held on Wednesday and Thursday, Aker reported.

It is unclear whether Collins-Taylor will go to the hearings. She has declined all interview requests since January.   

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Previous Stories:

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