FOX19 Investigates: Officials: 'Residencygate' growing bigger by the day
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
"It raises a huge issue of trust and accountability," Cincinnati Council Member Wendell Young said regarding a form he is very familiar with.
That form is called a Financial Disclosure Statement, and all high-ranking city of Cincinnati employees are required to fill one out every year.
One of the items the form calls for is the person's home address. FOX19 obtained those forms for several high-ranking city employees and uncovered that the addresses supplied may not actually be where at least three of those directors call home.
Tony Parrott runs the Metropolitan Sewer District. On Parrott's Financial Disclosure Statement, he supplies an address on Greenlawn Street in Cincinnati. Property records show Parrott owns a home in Butler County. When FOX19's Amy Wagner went to that home, Parrott's wife answered the door.
Kenneth Glenn is the Director of the Department of Citizen Complaints and Internal Audit. Glenn provides an address on Whetsel on his Financial Disclosure Statement. When we visited that address several weeks ago, we were told the Dees family has lived there for the past 30 years. It turns out George Dees is Glenn's brother-in-law. Property records for Glenn's home in Butler County list his wife as Shirley A. Dees-Glenn.
The city's Human Resources Director Georgetta Kelly supplies an address in an apartment building near the University of Cincinnati campus on Probasco Street. In an email to FOX19, Kelly says she pays rent for that apartment and has utility bills to prove it, even though her husband lives in a gated home that records show Kelly owns in Dayton, Ohio.
Each of those directors has signed and dated a document that states, "I further acknowledge that a false filing of this statement may be grounds for removal from my office or dismissal from my employment."
"The main thing is they are signing a document that they are attesting to the truthfulness of the document when it's not really truthful, so that's problematic," said FOX19 legal analyst Mike Allen.
"There's a criminal charge of falsification which could potentially apply. I'm not saying it does but it could," Allen said.
Meanwhile, the interim city manager released a memo to council members last night stating that the city ordinance may not apply to every city department director. It cites a state law which only allows the Cincinnati Ordinance passed last May to apply to department directors as defined in the city's administrative code.
"Somewhere along the lines, someone failed to inform city council that the ordinance we were passing did not apply to everyone we thought it applied to," Young said.
One of those directors who asked not to be identified tells FOX19 that until Stiles' memo went out Wednesday night, not a single director had been told they were exempt from the residency requirement and allowed to live outside the city.
"What I will say is if at the end of the day people just knowingly lied to us and there was no ‘agreement' that you're allowed to do it, I would find that very troublesome," Young said.
FOX19 reached out repeatedly to Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley for comment on this story. He has not yet responded to our request.