Ethics investigation shows state worker solicited payment from vendor

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 3:33 PM


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The chief information officer at the Ohio Department of Administrative Services solicited $37,000 from a vendor that has been paid nearly $250 million by the state since 2010, according to a new report by Ohio Inspector General Randy Meyer.

Stuart Davis solicited the payment from CGI Technologies and Solutions, Inc. to sponsor Davis’ speaking session at the 2013 Cincinnati CIO Executive Summit, an event organized by Evanta. CGI paid $37,000 to Evanta. Davis helped plan the summit, according to state records.

The Department of Administrative Services is responsible for human resources, purchasing, information technology, telecommunications and other areas for state government.

Related: Loopholes raise questions about strength of Ohio’s ethics laws

Davis, who has been top tech officer at DAS since 2011, is paid $135,407-a-year to oversee state IT activities and strategies. He has been a state employee since 1997.

CGI Technologies has been paid $244.5 million for IT services to the state since 2010 — 98 percent of which was paid out when Davis served as chief information officer at DAS.

Meyer’s office sent the report to the Ohio Ethics Commission, Franklin County prosecutor and city of Columbus prosecutor for review and consideration.

Related: 8 Ohio ethics issues, corruption probes you should know about

The request from Davis to CGI Technologies raised the alarm with company officials. “….it give you any initial heartburn — a request coming from the state CIO (on gov’t email account) for us to sponsor an event?” wrote John Stephan, CGI government markets director, in an email to Nola Haug, the colleague approached by Davis.

During the same time period, Davis reviewed or approved documents to pay CGI $37.9 million, the IG report states.

Texas' 'Tourniquet Killer' executed via lethal injection

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 3:05 AM

Anthony Allen Shore was executed by lethal injection Thursday night.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice/AP
Anthony Allen Shore was executed by lethal injection Thursday night.(Texas Department of Criminal Justice/AP)

No injuries from apartment fire on Summit Square Drive in Dayton

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 11:28 PM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 12:16 AM

SCENE: Crews fighting fire in apartment on Summit Square

UPDATE @ 12:12 a.m.: An arson investigator has been called to the scene of the apartment fire in the 800 block of Summit Square Drive. 

Dayton Fire Capt. Brad Baldwin said crews arrived to find heavy fire on the first floor of a unit and at least two people had climbed out of a second-floor window before crews arrived. 

The fire affected three apartments -- flames damaged one, smoke got into the adjoining units. 

One of the occupants said she heard "popping and cracking" coming from the kitchen, Baldwin said. 

No injuries were reported, he said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

INITIAL REPORT

Crews are dealing with a fire in the 800 block of Summit Square Drive in Dayton. 

Dayton crews were dispatched just after 11 p.m. on a report of a possible structure fire. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Dayton police officer under investigation for OVI

We're hearing they arrived to find heavy flames in a first-floor unit. There are no reports of injuries. 

We have a crew on the way. We will update this developing report. Stay with whio.com for breaking news.

'Brace': Passengers have rough, scary landing at Dallas airport

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 2:28 AM

A rough landing caused some concern for some passengers aboard an American Airlines flight.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
A rough landing caused some concern for some passengers aboard an American Airlines flight.(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Flight attendants routinely instruct passengers on emergency procedures before a plane takes off, and it is a necessary but tedious monologue.

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However, passengers on an American Airlines flight from Phoenix to Dallas were paying close attention Wednesday, when they were told to brace for impact as their plane made an emergency landing because of mechanical issues.

“Keep your heads down,” a flight attendant can be heard on a frightening video filmed by Scottsdale, Arizona, resident Steve Ramsthel. The plane, operated by Mesa Airlines, had some rough moments but managed to land safely at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, KNXV reported.

Ramsthel, who is a certified pilot, told KNXV that he could smell smoke on the plane. An airline spokesman confirmed that “a fan issue” prompted the emergency landing.

“There were some people crossing themselves, but I thought the adrenaline was high and everybody just cooperated,” Ramsthel told KNXV. "It was pretty amazing, to be honest with you.”

In a statement, American Airlines blamed “mechanical issues stemming from a broken fan,” KNXV reported. There were no injuries, the airline said.

Just made emergency landing in Dallas #emergencylandingdfw. #AmericanAirlines #MesaAirlines American #5957 from PHX to DFW

Posted by Steve Ramsthel on Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Drone saves 2 swimmers at Australian beach

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 1:36 AM

A drone helped save two swimmers in Australia on Thursday.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
A drone helped save two swimmers in Australia on Thursday.(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Little Ripper turned out to be a lifesaver for two Australian swimmers caught in churning surf.

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Australian lifeguards were testing a new drone during a practice session at a beach in New South Wales when they received a call about two swimmers caught in 10-foot swells, according to Surf Life Saving New South Wales and The New York Times.

Lifeguard supervisor Jai Sheridan, who was operating the drone, responded and steered it toward the swimmers, releasing a yellow inflatable pod into the water, the Times reported. The swimmers grabbed the pod and were able to navigate safely to shore, Surf Life Saving reported.

The rescue took 70 seconds, Sheridan told the Times.

“The Little Ripper UAV certainly proved itself today it is an amazingly efficient piece of lifesaving equipment and a delight to fly,” Sheridan told Surf Life Saving. “I was able to launch it, fly it to the location, and drop the pod all in about one to two minutes. On a normal day that would have taken our lifeguards a few minutes longer to reach the members of the public.”