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Dick Leadership: Coverage From Star, Journal And AP Doesn't Make FSSA Look Good

Roob_1Here's the kind of story issuing poorly written statements defending a shady deal at the very end of the day gets you:

"After a week of rejecting complaints, the state on Tuesday canceled a controversial deal that let a top state official resign his $100,000 job, then do the same work for the state as a contractor for $180,000 a year.

"Richard Rhoad, the chief financial officer of Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration, will return to his job at the state agency.

"Harry Gonso, chief of staff to Gov. Mitch Daniels, said in a statement that Daniels agreed the move is 'appropriate and necessary.'

"'Sometimes what is legal and within the rules is still not enough. Appearances and public confidence also matter,' Gonso said."

The story ran below the fold on the Star's front page, and the online version is accompanied by a message board thread discussing the deal and its better-late-than-never reversal.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, which broke this story, wrote a piece that included this, begging us to ask "Where, exactly, is Dick Rhoad these days?"

"Roob, Gov. Mitch Daniels and State Budget Director Chuck Schalliol alternately defended the contract, saying the annual pay was increased to cover loss of health benefits and to ensure Rhoad’s travel expenses were covered.

"Daniels also said outside expertise was needed to clean up the agency.

"But on Tuesday, the governor’s chief of staff, Harry Gonso, said Daniels welcomed the decision and agreed it is appropriate and necessary.

"'As the governor has said, sometimes what is legal and within the rules is still not enough. Appearances and public confidence also matter,' Gonso said.

"He also said Rhoad, 'has never been in this for the money,' and that taxpayers 'will be benefiting from Dick’s work for years to come.'

"Rhoad hasn’t returned numerous messages, including a call Tuesday afternoon, seeking comment."

We posted a link to the AP story last night, but in case you missed here, clickety here.

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Comments

This morning the J-G had an editorial (http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/14544381.htm) about geographic diversity in state government. They make some interesting points. But it made me wonder what type of state assistance was offered to all of the DWD claims people who were told "move to Indy or lose your job"...... Oh, that's right, we are now running state government like a business which means there are rules for the top dogs and different rules for the little people.

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