The claim of crony-ism was one that involved a Lucas County auditor race and a candidate with the last name of Kaczala the last time this seat was up for election and even before then. Now it’s returned, this time with Gina Marie Kaczala, directing accusations at the current Lucas County Auditor, Anita Lopez — LINK to Blade coverage — LINK to FOX Toledo coverage.
In 1998 the Blade had an article entitled “Patronage runs hiring by Kaczala County Auditor’s Staff Built with Family and Friends”
Parts of that article:
His brother-in-law was the first to get a job. Laid off from his job at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, he was hired by Mr. Kaczala as the new auditor’s personnel director.
Two months later Mr. Kaczala hired Jerry Hoffer, his best friend with whom he used to share a law office. Mr. Hoffer joined his sister-in-law, Beth Hoffer, who was on the payroll.
The list goes on.
* Mr. Hoffer’s son Jeremy got summer work in the auditor’s office.
* Beth Hoffer’s daughter Callie also was hired by the auditor. And another daughter Jessica was hired for the summer.
* Walter Zilka, the auditor’s manager of data processing, hired both of his sons-in-law.
* And Michael Leach, the senior deputy auditor, who is Mr. Kaczala’s campaign treasurer, steered his son to an opening in the office.
Welcome to the Lucas County auditor’s office.
It’s a place where employees find jobs for relatives. And, as the only office in Lucas County headed by an elected Republican, it’s where local Republican leaders try to even the score with the Democrats, who for years have placed their supporters throughout the personnel rolls of the county.
His second wife, she was hired into the auditor’s office in 1985, long before her husband was appointed to the post in 1993.
Former employees of the auditor’s office, and at least one current employee, grumble that Mrs. Kaczala doesn’t work her full eight-hour shift because she comes in late many days with her husband – the boss.
Mr. Kaczala said his wife does arrive late with him, who as an elected official isn’t confined to an eight-hour work day. What the critics don’t know, he says, is that his wife’s pay is docked when she’s late to work.
“I don’t think that she’s ever gotten a full paycheck,” Mr. Kaczala said. “Not for as long as I’ve paid her.”