More: Ohio’s inspector general is investigating…
Ohio’s inspector general is investigating why a state agency director approved checking the state child-support computer system for information on “Joe the Plumber.”
Helen Jones-Kelly, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, confirmed today that she OK’d the check on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher following the Oct. 15 presidential debate.
She said there were no political reasons for the check on the sudden presidential campaign fixture though the Support Enforcement Tracking System.
Amid questions from the media and others about “Joe the Plumber,” Jones-Kelley said she approved a check to determine if he was current on any ordered child-support payments.
Such information was not and cannot be publicly shared, she said. It is unclear if Wurzelbacher is involved in a child-support case. Reports state that he lives alone with a 13-year-old son.
“Our practice is when someone is thrust quickly into the public spotlight, we often take a look” at them, Jones-Kelley said, citing a case where a lottery winner was found to owe past-due child support. “Our practice is to basically look at what is coming our way.”
Ohio Inspector General Thomas P. Charles confirmed today that he is investigating the incident to determine if “Joe”s” records were legally accessed by Job and Family Services employees.
The use of a state computer system to search for information on Wurzelbacher is the fourth uncovered by The Dispatch.