We found out earlier this week that Scott Nally, Kasich’s director of the Ohio EPA, resigned abruptly without any explanation.
Kasich appointed Nally in January 2011 and immediately tasked him with making it easier for businesses to get pollution permits from the EPA.
Later that month, Kasich and Nally forced all EPA employees to drive to Columbus to hear Kasich berate them for their lack of commitment and lack of vision. A clip from that event in which Kasich repeatedly called a Columbus Police Officer “an idiot” brought national attention to the new Governor.
By November 2011, Nally was already seeking a way to put his mark on the agency. His solution: change the name of the Ohio EPA. Nally asked employees to submit their suggestions. Needless to say, they thought it was a ridiculous idea.
So while we wait to find out what type of scandal led to Nally’s resignation, and which oil and gas company will be hiring him next, here’s a short story about Nally’s replacement ,Craig Butler, as told by Cinubluegreen.In March 2013, a group of environment activists were scheduled to meet at John Kasich’s office on the 30th floor of the Riffe Office tower in Columbus. Six individuals took time off work and school, and traveled from all across the state, to ask the governor to do more to protect Ohioan from dangerous fracking fluid and waste water, and to present the governor with petitions signed by thousands of Ohioans.
Instead of meeting with the Governor, the party was met by Kasich’s Constituent Affairs Director Dave Ward, and Craig Butler, the Assistant Policy Director for Environment, Energy, and Agriculture.
And instead of letting the group into their offices on the 30th floor of Riffe, or taking the meeting to one of the many other conference rooms in the building, they insisted the group stand there in the lobby, while elevators dinged and people made their way to and fro, to make their case.
After a short presentation in this uncomfortable and disrespectful setting, Butler was asked his opinion by one of the presenters. He “immediately retorted that he disagreed with everything she had said.” Moments later, Butler and Ward abruptly ended the meeting, turned on their heels, and walked back into the governors offices, leaving the group shocked and stunned.
This week Butler will start leading Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency. Clearly Kasich picked him for his care and concern about environmental issues, his strong beliefs about helping protect Ohioans from dangerous pollution, and his excellent people skills.