SPEAKER ROSENBERGER WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?

By Connor Brown

 

"Working for the Ohio House of Representatives can be utterly demoralizing. Working for members that treat staff as underlings deserving of beratement and contempt is an almost daily problem.There is no where to turn to deal with problems such as member-staff tension, and the only outlet is to talk with coworkers. There are many, many good members on both sides of the aisle. But there are those who treat staff terribly, and everyone who works in the House knows who they are. This can be a truly terrible place to work." 3rd Rail's Anonymous Share a Tip

 

Working conditions in the Ohio House are deteriorating under the leadership of Speaker Rosenberger.  Additional sources who work for the legislature have confirmed that working for the Ohio House has become almost intolerable.

 

3rd Rail Politics has been investigating alleged sexual harassment in the Ohio Senate and House.  It has been 36 days since we requested public records from the Speaker seeking information on how he communicates with staff, and we have received no response. What are they hiding?

 

Serious questions regarding the treatment of at least five male staff who worked directly for the Speaker remain unanswered.

 

We reached out to these individuals and they won't talk.  Who told them not to talk?  Is it possible that their silence was a condition of their work promotions?  Did the entities who hired these individuals do so as a "favor" to the Speaker and if so what did they receive in return?

 

Legislators are not exempt from harassment laws and securing good paying jobs for individuals who were harassed is unethical at best.

 

The response to the issue of sexual harassment by state elected leaders has been baffling. Where is the leadership? Where is the zero tolerance policy, removing members from their committee assignments, cutting them off from caucus support?  In this world of #metoo, it seems many elected officials are brushing this behavior off as just another day for the good old boy's club, evading public records laws as well as harassment laws.

 

Workplace harassment, inappropriate treatment between legislators and their staff, lavish spending of money donated to the caucus for elections, flawed reporting on travel expensesmillion dollar line items to friends, the Ohio House is on fire and Rosenberger is holding the match.

 

House Public Records Request pending for 36 days:


November 1, 2017

Speaker Cliff Rosenberger

77 North High Street

14th Floor

Columbus, Ohio 43215

 

Re: Public Records Request

 

Dear Speaker Rosenberger:

I am writing you pursuant to the Ohio Public Records Act, R.C. 149.43, to request copies of the following public records:

·         Any and all written correspondence, including emails, sms/text messages, iMessages, other electronic communications, by and between Speaker Rosenberger and any employee of the Ohio House of Representatives (“House Employee”) relating to: 

a)      invitations from Speaker Rosenberger to any House Employee to eat dinner with the Speaker;

b)      actual dinners eaten where Speaker Rosenberger and any House Employee were present simultaneously;

c)       invitations to Speaker Rosenberger’s private residence or condominium made by the Speaker to any House Employee;

d)      visits to Speaker Rosenberger’s private residence or condominium by any House Employee;

e)      invitations from Speaker Rosenberger to any House Employee to watch a movie with the Speaker;

f)       visits to a movie theatre or to Speaker Rosenberger’s private residence or condominium in which Speaker Rosenberger was accompanied by any House Employee for purposes of watching a movie;

g)      requests from Speaker Rosenberger to any House Employee in which any House Employee was asked to tend to any of the Speaker’s pets, including walking the Speaker’s dog;

h)      requests from Speaker Rosenberger to any House Employee in which any House Employee was asked to tend to the Speaker’s laundry, including requests that a House Employee wash, dry, mend, or iron the Speaker’s clothing or retrieve the Speaker’s dry cleaning or laundry from a dry cleaning service;

i)        meetings between Speaker Rosenberger and any House Employee occurring at the Speaker’s private residence or condominium between the hours of midnight and 4:30 a.m.;

j)        overnight trips, including trips within the State of Ohio, where Speaker Rosenberger requested that any House Employee accompany him;

k)      overnight accommodations for any House Employee, regardless of where those accommodations were located, that was paid for by Speaker Rosenberger;

l)        overnight accommodations for any House Employee and Speaker Rosenberger, regardless of where those accommodations were located, in which Speaker Rosenberger and the House Employee shared a hotel room.

·         Any and all calendar notations, including electronic calendar notations and event invitations sent from Speaker Rosenberger to any House Employee or received by Speaker Rosenberger from any House Employee relating to any of the items described above in (a) through (l).

·         Any and all invoices, receipts, reimbursements, or other documentation regarding financial transactions relating to any of the items described above in (a) through (l).

For your reference, attached to this request is a quarterly list of all House Employees for the years Speaker Rosenberger has been a member of the Ohio House of Representatives. Responsive records should be limited to those between January 3, 2011 and the date of your response to this request.

Requested records should be provided by email to cyndy@3rdrailpolitics.com within a reasonable time. Please contact me at this email if it will take more than a week to respond to this request.

If you have any questions or need additional information in order to expedite the release of these requested public records, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

 

House Public Records Request pending for 22 days:

 

Dear Speaker Rosenberger:

 

Pursuant to the Ohio Public Records Act, R.C. 149.43, I am writing to request the following public records:

 

·  Personnel files of current or former employees, x,x,x  and x.  

·  Any written communications, including but not limited to letters, emails or text messages from Speaker Rosenberger, other House Members, and/or Mike Dittoe sent to Ohio State University or any prospective employer regarding the individuals named above, including references or recommendations for employment.

·  Any correspondence between Chief of Staff Mike Dittoe or Speaker Rosenberger and Ohio State University regarding  and/or . 

 

Please provide the requested records by email to cyndy@3rdrailpolitics.com. Ohio law requires that responsive records be provided within a reasonable time. If it will take more than a week to respond, please contact me at this email and notify me when the records will be ready as soon as possible.

 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need additional information in order to expedite the release of the requested public records. 


 

Dear Ohio State University President Michael Drake:

 

Pursuant to the Ohio Public Records Act, R.C. 149.43, I am writing to request the following public records:

 

·  Personnel files of current or former employees x and .

·  Any written communications, including but not limited to letters, emails or text messages from Speaker Rosenberger, other members of the Ohio House of Representatives, and/or Ohio House of Representatives employee Mike Dittoe sent to any individual employed by Ohio State University including President Drake, Matt McNair, Blake Thompson, Amy Baker, Brian Perera, Kristin Sutton, and Sarah King referencing  x or x.

 

Please provide the requested records by email to cyndy@3rdrailpolitics. Ohio law requires that responsive records be provided within a reasonable time. If it will take more than a week to respond, please contact me at this email and notify me when the records will be ready as soon as possible.

 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need additional information in order to expedite the release of the requested public records. 

 

Note:  Names have been removed to protect the individuals believed associated with this issue.

 

Senate Public Records Request pending for 23 days: 

 

Dear Mr. Strigari:

 

Pursuant to the Ohio Public Records Act, R.C. 149.43, I am writing to request the following public records: 

 

  • All emails, text messages, executive communications, or executive memoranda received or sent by Jason Mauk, John Fortney, Cliff Hite, and/or Larry Obhof, sent between October 6, 2017 and October 18, 2017 regarding x (e.g., including the terms “xx,” “xx,” “xx,” “xx,” or “xx”), a current or former employee of the Legislative Service Commission.

 

  • All emails, text messages, executive communications, or executive memoranda received or sent by Keith Faber, Jason Mauk, John McClelland, and/or Cliff Hite regarding the website “Ashley Madison” (e.g., including the search term “Ashley Madison”) sent between May 1, 2015 to April 30, 2016.

 

  • All emails, text messages, executive communications, or executive memoranda received or sent by Jason Mauk, John Fortney, Cliff Hite, and/or Larry Obhof regardng xx e.g., including the search terms "xx,” “xx,” “xx,” “xxx,” or "xxx”) sent between May 1, 2017 to October 31, 2017.

 

  • All current official policies, procedures, manuals, employee handbooks, and administrative guidelines setting forth existing sexual harassment policies and procedures, including complaint and investigation procedures.

 

  • Any contracts entered into within the last two years and/or currently effective with entities for the purpose of providing sexual harassment training for Senate members and/or staff.

 

  • Any curriculum materials for sexual harassment trainings presented to Senate members or staff pursuant to their official duties since January 1, 2015, and any attendance lists or sign-in sheets indicating the attendees.

 

Please provide the requested records by email to cyndy@3rdrailpolitics.com. Ohio law requires that responsive records be provided within a reasonable time. If it will take more than a week to respond, please contact me at this email and notify me when the records will be ready as soon as possible.

 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need additional information in order to expedite the release of the requested public records. Thank you.

 

NOTE: Names have been removed to protect the individuals believed associated with this issue.

 

The response to the issue of sexual harassment by state elected leaders has been baffling.  One would have believed leadership would have stood firm in defense of the laws they create, demanding an environment of zero tolerance.  For example speaking out against the behavior, taking away the support of the caucus and any committee assignments from those who fail to follow the law. Instead the response has been one of silence, covering up the facts, keeping information from the public and allow the behavior to persist. 

 

Operating under a veil of darkness, it appears working conditions in the Ohio House have grown far worse.