If TPS(Dr. Pecko, Bob Vasquez and the Toledo Parent Congress) and Sandy Wiley Steward got all up in arms about the comments made by Brian Wilson, why hasn't TPS gotten all up in arms about what Ms. Wiley-Steward wrote on Facebook about inner city parents? The only reason I can come up with is that they all agree that inner city parents don't have a "volunteer mentality," that they have a hand out mentality and need to be trained (like monkeys) by the county which employs Lisa Sobecki school board vice president..
I'd not heard that Lisa was working for the county, so I looked it up. Every person hired by the county must be approved by a resolution of the Board of County Commissioners and, sure enough, there was resolution 10-136, passed February 9, 2010, approving her, and another woman, as full-time, bargaining unit Casework Aides in the Department of Job & Family Services. They were placed at pay range 25, step 1 with a starting hourly wage of $12.19/hour.
Now, I don't have any problem whatsoever with her working at JFS. I don't have a problem with her being in the union. But I do have a problem with a potential violation of state law based upon her other activities.
The position of Casework Aide is in the classified civil service, according to Ohio Revised Code 329.022. And, also according to Ohio law, individuals employed in the classified civil service in the state are prohibited from partisan political activity. Ohio Revised Code 124.57 states, emphasis added:
(A) No officer or employee in the classified service of the state, the several counties, cities, and city school districts of the state, or the civil service townships of the state shall directly or indirectly, orally or by letter, solicit or receive, or be in any manner concerned in soliciting or receiving, any assessment, subscription, or contribution for any political party or for any candidate for public office; nor shall any person solicit directly or indirectly, orally or by letter, or be in any manner concerned in soliciting, any such assessment, contribution, or payment from any officer or employee in the classified service of the state , the several counties, cities, or city school districts of the state, or the civil service townships of the state; nor shall any officer or employee in the classified service of the state, the several counties, cities, and city school districts of the state, or the civil service townships of the state be an officer in any political organization or take part in politics other than to vote as the officer or employee pleases and to express freely political opinions.
In fact, because the penalties for violation of this section are so severe, (reduced pay, fines, suspensions, or removal from the position, per ORC 124.34) when I was a commissioner, the Board regularly sent out a letter to all employees so affected reminding them of the prohibition.
Because school board members run in 'non-partisan' races, I'm not sure if her election to that office would constitute a violation - and I think it probably would not.
But after being hired by the County, Lisa Sobecki ran for - and was elected - to the position of precinct committeeman in Toledo's Ward 1G as a democrat for the Lucas County Democratic Party. That is clearly a partisan office and certainly prohibited under Ohio law.
So here are the questions:
* Did she know she was violating the law by running for a partisan office?
* If not - why not? Is that not explained to employees when they are hired? If she did know, should the penalty for violation be higher?
* The County Commissioners should certainly know of her role in the local Democrat Party, as they are involved in it as well. Have they just conveniently overlooked her partisan activities or are they negligent in their administration of the county and in violation of their oaths of office to uphold Ohio laws?
* If this employee is allowed to be in violation, are there other employees who are also in violation?
* Now that this has been made public, what are the Commissioners going to do? Sobecki cannot continue both jobs - casework aide and precinct committeeman - so which will go? Will the Commissioners bring her up on charges and provide some reduced penalty if she resigns from her partisan position?