As Cuyahoga County executive, Ed FitzGerald has disciplined employees for not holding a valid driver's license – something the former FBI agent and Democratic candidate for governor himself lacked for years.
In 2013 his administration punished at least eight employees, with penalties ranging from a written reprimand to a five-day suspension without pay, according to documents the Northeast Ohio Media Group obtained through a public-records request. (scroll down to view the records)
The county's inspector general first began reviewing potential violations of the county's driving policies last year, months after FitzGerald obtained his first permanent driver's license in more than a decade. More than 150 other driving-related infractions involving other county employees remain under investigation and could yet result in discipline.
FitzGerald's own license lapse came to light this month, after NEOMG reported that police in suburban Westlake found him parked in car with a woman who was not his wife at 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 13, 2012. FitzGerald was not cited, and he and police maintain nothing inappropriate happened. But the county executive had a learner's permit, meaning he could drive only with a licensed driver 21 or older. He has acknowledged driving home alone after dropping the woman at a hotel.
FitzGerald has always struck me as eccentric (not full-blown Dennis Kucinich eccentric, but kind of an oddball anyway) and this is not helping his chances. As long as the framing is on FitzGerald's driving habits and "do as I say, not as I do" nonsense, the story isn't on Kasich all but closing Ohio's abortion clinics, his fracking public safety problems, and the state's wrecked safety net. Kasich needs to go, but FitzGerald isn't playing like he wants to win at all.
The polls still have FitzGerald down by 8-10 points, and something big has to change or Kasich will waltz to another four years of wrecking the Buckeye State.