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  Blackwell also had problem worker
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ContributorThomas Walker 
Last EditedThomas Walker  Oct 24, 2006 12:39pm
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CategoryGeneral
MediaNewspaper - Columbus Dispatch
News DateTuesday, October 24, 2006 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionGOP gubernatorial nominee J. Kenneth Blackwell, who has questioned the judgment of Democrat Ted Strickland for employing an aide who committed a misdemeanor, once had a felon on his payroll.

As state treasurer, Blackwell unknowingly hired a man with a long record of arrests and kept him on the payroll even after his office discovered the man’s record and brought it to Blackwell’s attention. Under Blackwell, who was treasurer from March 1994 to January 1999, Michael A. Toomer received two pay increases before leaving the treasurer’s office in 2002 and landing in prison for the next four years.

Records obtained from the treasurer’s office show that Toomer was hired Nov. 17, 1997, as a $10.32-per-hour mail clerk/ messenger. On his application, Toomer indicated no felony offenses, and a State Highway Patrol record check at that time turned up none.

But when the treasurer’s office sought clearance for Toomer to have access to the Ohio Computer Center, a second check turned up numerous arrests. On Jan. 26, 1998, the Department of Public Safety denied access to Toomer, alias Glenn K. Williams.

Hand-written notes in the report showed that Toomer had been arrested in Florida for armed robbery in 1981, cocaine possession twice in 1991, and again in 1993. Records from Broward County, Fla., authorities show that the charges for armed robbery and the first incident of cocaine possession were dropped.
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