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Franklin Co. Auditor Answers Questions on Alleged Improper Office Relationship
COLUMBUS (Chris Vanocur / Kelsey Mallahan) -- An investigation started by ABC 6 / FOX 28 erupted into a full-fledged controversy involving the Franklin County auditor on Friday. At issue, is a dispute between Auditor Clarence Mingo and his former chief of staff.
ABC 6 / FOX 28 obtained a document at the center of the controversy sent to Auditor Mingo, on behalf of his former Chief of Staff Jerzell Pierre-Louis in February, 2013. In the letter, Pierre-Louis lawyer accuses Mingo of unlawful termination.
Mingo recalls it differently.
"No, from my perspective, it was not a termination," said Mingo.
The letter also claims Pierre-Louis was fired for questioning Mingo about an alleged improper office relationship.
"We're you engaged in an improper relationship with anyone in this office? asked ABC 6 / FOX 28 Senior Reporter Chris Vanocur.
Chris, I have been married faithfully 21 years to my wife and I have never done anything, anything whatsoever to compromise those vows," said Mingo.
Nearly four months after the lawyer's letter was sent, Jerzell Pierre-Louis sent her own letter to Mingo. In it, she withdrew her allegations about Mingo behaving improperly. Two weeks after Pierre-Louis letter was sent, she signed a $135,000 consulting contract with Mingos office.
"Do you not think that looks funny? asked Chris Vanocur.
Yeah, Chris, I certainly can understand the optics of that and concern about those optics, but I think if you look at the situation and context it makes a little more sense, said Mingo.
Mingo said he has no plans to resign and will run for re-election in 2014.