“Resigns” is a dubious word, given that Mark Barbash is going back to his old job. “Won’t be promoted” would be a more accurate description of what has happened (bolds are mine):
Mark Barbash, interim Ohio development director, resigns over tax problems
May 15, 2009 21:45PM
Mark Barbash’s resignation Friday, May 15, as Ohio’s top development official was sudden, but the personal financial troubles that chased him from the job were no surprise to the governor’s administration.
Barbash quit as interim development director after a media report revealed his federal tax debts and court filings showed that his Columbus-area home is facing foreclosure.
He owes the Internal Revenue Service $146,313 in back taxes, penalties and fees for personal tax returns dating to 2000, according to court filings.
Barbash was hired in March 2007 as chief economic development officer by Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who was then the director of the Ohio Department of Development, even though Fisher knew of Barbash’s tax troubles, the governor’s office confirmed.
Gov. Ted Strickland promoted Barbash in February to the top development post when Fisher gave it up to concentrate on seeking to become the Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate nominee in 2010.
Barbash had told the governor’s chief of staff, John Haseley, about the tax problems, but neither Haseley nor Fisher shared the information with the Democratic governor before he gave Barbash the Cabinet-level job, said Strickland spokeswoman Amanda Wurst.
….. Barbash told (Columbus) Business First (which broke the story) that the discrepancies center on his claiming a “married filing separately” status while the IRS says he should have claimed single status.
Barbash …. will return to the Development Department in the job he held before becoming director, chief economic development officer. His annual salary will remain $128,357.
….. The governor found out about Barbash’s troubles this week when Barbash told the administration he received the foreclosure notice, Wurst said.
….. But Wurst could not answer why no one told the governor about the problems before Barbash was promoted.
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine isn’t buying that Strickland was unaware.
If Strickland was truly kept unaware, he should fire John Haseley and publicly rebuke Lee Fisher for failing to inform him, because they clearly owed him the relevant info on Barbash. As noted, this is a Cabinet-level position. Haseley’s and Fisher’s keeping Strickland in the dark, if that is what happened, is the rough equivalent of Rahm Emanuel withholding info from Barack Obama about Tax Cheat Tim Geithner’s problems until the day of Geithner’s nomination hearings (That Obama knew and promoted Geithner’s nomination anyway, and that he was still nominated, has already been identified as a disgrace).
If Strickland does neither of the two things just mentioned, you have to assume one of two things:
- He really knew, but won’t own up to it.
- He is not carrying out his executive duties at even the most minimal level — which would make accusations that Strickland is a caretaker governor almost seem like a compliment.
This is a bit of a close call — But given Barbash’s serious financial difficulties, does anyone else think that PD reporter Reginald Fields should have reported this?