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Government and Politics


FitzGerald accuses Kasich-backers of a political smear campaign
Ohio's Democratic gubernatorial candidate says Republicans are turning an innocent occurrence into a scandal
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed Fitzgerald say nothing inappropriate happened between him and an Irish woman in a car in October 2012.
Courtesy of Cuyahoga County Executive's Office
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In The Region:

Ohio’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate is answering questions about how police found him, in a car, with a woman who is not his wife in middle of the night two years ago. Now Ed FitzGerald is asking some questions of his own.

LISTEN: INGLES ON FITZGERALD

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Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald says he was one of two designated drivers with a visiting Irish delegation in 2012. FitzGerald says the two cars got separated around 4 a.m. so he pulled over while the woman riding with him tried to call the group. 

FitzGerald says a Westlake police officer stopped to see why they were in the parking lot, but left after finding out there was nothing wrong. He released a statement from the delegation calling it “innocuous.”

He says Republican operatives working for Gov. John Kasich are behind a records request that turned up the stop to raise innuendo.

“That’s why we are here. Something two years ago that nobody was talking about, that didn’t result in anything and now, on all day of days, coincidentally, on the same day we are talking about law enforcement, that the Fraternal Order of Police makes their endorsement, that’s the day it comes out," Fitzgerald says. "You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out why that happened in that way.”

FOP head says he checked it out himself
The president of the Ohio FOP, Jay McDonald, says he called the officer who was listed in the report to see what happened that night. McDonald says the officer said there was no evidence wrong doing. 

“No crimes were committed," McDonald says. "Nothing inappropriate was happening. That’s what the officer told me. I wouldn’t be here today if I thought any of those things were taken place. If the officer was mistreated, I wouldn’t be here today.
"Certainly Mr. FitzGerald didn’t call that officer an idiot for doing this job.”

That last statement refers to the comment Kasich made early on as governor when he called an officer an idiot while speaking to a group. Kasich later apologized. Now FitzGerald wants an apology from Kasich. 

FitzGerald says Kasich’s campaign has been trying to find something to tarnish his name and the Democrat says it's even been looking into his family.

Calls placed to the Ohio Republican Party to get comment on FitzGerald’s assertions have not been returned.

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