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Government and Politics

GOP sues FitzGerald over work records
Republicans want Fitzgerald's parking and swipe records from his key card

Jo Ingles
FitzGerald says his security could be at risk if his records were released.
Courtesy of File photo
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The Ohio Republican Party is suing Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Ed FitzGerald to get his parking and office entry records.

As Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, this lawsuit comes after months of wrangling over where the line is between security and transparency

LISTEN: GOP sues Fitzgerald

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The Republicans want the swipe records from the key card FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County Executive, uses to get into his office. And the GOP wants FitzGerald’s parking records for the past two years. FitzGerald refuses to provide those, citing security concerns. FitzGerald says there have been death threats against him and adds the Cuyahoga County Sheriff says those records, if released, could put FitzGerald’s own security at risk. Chris Schrimpf of the Ohio Republican Party doesn’t buy that argument.

"I suspect what you would actually find and the real reason he is holding these records is that there is no pattern to what Ed FitzGerald is doing. He’s either not showing up for work at the County Office building or he’s showing up at strange times that he doesn’t want people to know about. Where he lives, where he works, where he’s going to be today and tomorrow – the public knows those things. There is no reason the public should not know when he was doing his job two years ago."

FitzGerald says the real reason the Republicans are hammering away on this issue is that their own candidate, Governor John Kasich, has been weak on the issue of accountability.

"This is a strategic move on this part to try to take something where they have had a very checkered record and try to say on a very sensitive security issue that should be beyond politics ….how do we politicize this….to try to make it appear as if one side is open and the other is not. The Governor’s security staff is not going to give you information on everything you ask for, nor should they and neither will the county sheriff’s office and my office nor should they."

FitzGerald says Kasich has not provided an accounting of all of his whereabouts over the past couple of years either. And he says it’s Kasich who created JobsOhio, the state’s non-profit job development company, that now, under state law, is able to keep much of its information private.
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