Something stinks in Hamilton County and it isn't the garbage rotting at Mt. Rumpke. It has the distinct stench of corruption. Eight months of contentious arguing, lies exposed, unethical conduct by the prosecutor (see video at about 2:34:00) obstruction, and recusals wraps up with the removal of an appointee to the Solid Waste Policy Committee by Mayor (and "wannabe" governor) John Cranley, at the request of a representative from Rumpke due to her support of rules to regulate solid waste.
"Rumpke's got it like that. They want you gone? - you're gone," said the director of Child Advocacy for Rights & Equity, Inc. (C.A.R.E.) "Rumpke now owns controlling interest on 2 seats of the Policy Committee, all 3 seats on Colerain Township Board of Trustees, and he is hoping for interest in the Governor's office."
Like landfill permits, Rumpke generally gets what Rumpke wants. In the last year alone, Rumpke has donated about $50K to local politicians, according to an expert in campaign finance research, for the political influence of candidates who have a say in their business workings. The Rumpkes donated $25K to Mayor Cranley's political war chest in April 2021. (Boy, I bet Rumpke never dreamed that greased wheel would come in handy so soon.) Rumpke donated over $23K in Colerain Township, alone, lining up support from Dan Unger ($8k), Kathy Ulrich ($8k), and Matt Wahlert ($7,5k). State Representative Cindy Abrams has taken at least $1K and State Senator "Bill" Blessing has taken almost $10K in the last few years.
"Now, that's how ya get things done in a corrupt, Pay-to-Play state like Ohio!" said the director of Child Advocacy for Rights & Equity, Inc.
Over the last month, the Solid Waste Policy Committee has been in turmoil as a majority of the committee attempts to wrestle control from the waste industry to benefit residents and the county as a whole.
Deters sent a message to the board: if you pass these rules, "litigation will be very, very costly." He further warned the board that he would not represent the commissioners if they are sued (despite already recusing himself for lack of subject matter knowledge) and that if they pass the rules, they do so "at their own peril." The law firm that represents Rumpke donated over $10K to Deters last campaign.
The commissioners are a client of Deters' office. Generally, these types of conversations occur in Executive Session, not at a public meeting. In fact, it's against the Code of Professional Conduct and could subject him to removal from office, like his predecessor, who was likewise engaged in "wanton and willful neglect of duty or gross misconduct in office by the prosecuting attorney." Blasting your own client in public is certainly crossing the threshold of gross misconduct.
Sue Magness is the second seat on the Policy Committee to be controlled by Rumpke. Rumpke unseated "Raj" Rajagopal, who served as the township representative. She was notified that she has been removed from the Solid Waste Policy Committee by Mayor John Cranley. It was learned, at the request of a representative of Rumpke. Sue Magness is the City of Cincinnati's representative on the 7-member committee that devises policy related to solid waste - garbage. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation,
Ms. Sue Magness has been working in the field of recycling, solid waste management, and environmental education for over 25 years." She is currently the recycling coordinator for the City of Cincinnati where she has worked since 2008. Per the foundation, she has served on the "Advisory Panel for the Environmental Education Council of Ohio, Founding Board Member of Green Umbrella until 2014, and former Board Member for Leave No Child Inside of Greater Cincinnati "
In other words, Magness has had a stellar career in public service to the City of Cincinnati. Her accomplishments are too many to list.
Rumpke was forced to resign from the Policy Committee the week prior after C.A.R.E. wrote a second letter citing the law that said Rumpke never should have been seated on a Policy Committee that dictates the workings of a landfill operator. It's a conflict of interest and is specifically forbidden under the statute. Rumpke was appointed to the committee in February 2000, one month after the last time rules were suggested by the Policy Committee. Since then, and until C.A.R.E. made their proposal to adopt rules, it hadn't been discussed in 20 years.
Well, everybody's talking about it now and Rumpke is desperately trying to control who is in the conversation. Only problem is, Cranley leaves office January 1 - it'll be up to mayor-elect Aftab Pureval to decide if Magness is re-appointed to complete her last 2 years before retirement.
That is, unless $25K is enough to get Cranley to fire her.