A month ago we reported that Joe Rutherford, Kasich’s District 5 Deputy Director at the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), had been fired and District 5 Business and Human Resources Administrator Colleen Ryan had been placed on administrative leave. At the time we hinted that an IG’s investigation into Rutherford and Ryan was likely ongoing.
Since that last report, we have confirmed that the Ohio Inspector General is indeed investigating Rutherford and Ryan. The Inspector General’s Office has not yet released the report and is not commenting on the investigation.
We have also confirmed that ODOT’s Office of Equal Opportunity has a case pending on Mr. Rutherford involving an allegation that he “retaliated against another Department employee for engaging in a protected activity under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination of employees based on an “individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Later court decisions have also held that sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal under the act. The act also prohibits retaliation by an employer against an employee who has filed an equal opportunity complaint or an employee who testifies as a witness regarding a complaint.
Plunderbund requested personnel files and documents related to the equal opportunity investigation from ODOT in mid-November. According to ODOT officials, the documents are still under legal review and will be delivered “shortly”.
We will provide more detailed coverage of this story as those document become available.