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December 05, 2008

Employee Says Joe the Plumber Records-Search Cover-Up Was Dictated to Her

Wrist slaps all around. Cover ups are also no big deal.

We pretty much already knew this -- she's said it before -- but she's saying it again, as Ohio lawmakers look at tightening up a law previously believed to be pretty tight.

Don't go snooping on political rivals. Apparently that was too vague for some.

The state worker who unwittingly ran an improper child-support check on the man known as Joe the Plumber told lawmakers yesterday that a deputy director later "dictated" how she was supposed to cover it up. Vanessa Niekamp, an administrator for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services' Office of Child Support and a 15-year state employee, said that when Deputy Director Doug Thompson came into her office, "He appeared very upset, his neck was bright red, and he was shaking. He closed my door."

Thompson told her she must write an e-mail to the agency's information-security officer, and then "dictated word for word" what she wrote, Niekamp said. He also reminded her that she could be fired at any time, she said.

"Within an hour, I took the rest of the day off -- again using my vacation time -- and went directly to the office of the inspector general. I told them everything I knew about what happened."

Niekamp took another day of vacation yesterday to testify before the House State Government and Elections Committee about legislation that calls for the firing of any unclassified state employee who improperly accesses confidential personal information.



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posted by Ace at 01:36 PM

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