Tom Bush, 61, was a member of the Cuyahoga County Board of Revisions until today. He was paid a full salary of $64,000 to hear complaints from residents challenging property value assessments by the county auditor.
Apparently, $64,000 wasn't enough because Tom Bush worked a second job according to the Plain Dealer, a simply moronic choice given the atmospheric cloud of corruption hanging over the city. The investigation showed that Bush worked as a radio ad salesman for WERE AM/1490 while he was holding down the county job, a definite no-no that has led Bush to officially resign from his position with the county.
Consider the stupidity here: Every nook and cranny of Cuyahoga County's government is under investigation by the FBI and has been for two solid years. The local paper has taken down some high-profile county employees for theft, laziness, and general governmental corruption. And now, now is the time when you decide that you should be working a second job while on the job with the county? That's some brazen disregard not only for the taxpayers, but also for common sense. There's mirth and justice and a sense of accomplishment in taking down an honorable criminal; Tom Bush is not that guy.
The detailed report from the PD is ripe with hilarity, both intentional and not.
For instance, revel in Bush's explanation for why he was not regularly in the office and how he rationalized working at the radio station:
Reached Friday evening, Bush said he works at the radio station only during lunch hours and is often away from the county building so he can get Internet access, in libraries and coffee shops.
Because everyone knows county buildings do not have web access. And according to accounts of coworkers at the radio station, Bush was in the office around noon every day and left around 3 p.m. That's a helluva lunch break there, fella.
Most blue-collar Joes around town are logging eight, nine, ten-hour days at one job; Bush managed to log less than eight at two jobs combined.
Also consider how dutifully the Plain Dealer reports reporters' attempts at talking to Bush for the report:
Plain Dealer reporters tried tracking Bush down Friday, but it wasn't easy. The newspaper went to the county administration building about 1 p.m. Friday to interview him. He was not there.
People in the office said he rarely is in the building and that he works a second job with news-talk radio station WERE AM/1490. The newspaper visited the radio station on St. Clair Avenue twice Friday afternoon, at 2:30 and 4:30 p.m., but Bush had already left.
Seven employees, including Bush's former boss, said Bush arrives at the station about noon every day and stays until 2 or 3 p.m.
After Bush left the radio station on Friday, The Plain Dealer called his Olmsted Township home. He did not answer, so reporters visited his house about 3:30 p.m. Someone peered out a window, then walked away.
A group of about six children playing next door said they had seen Bush return home a bit earlier. They encouraged reporters to knock harder on the door. Still, Bush did not answer. Another neighbor said Bush is often home in the afternoon.
Your life is better for knowing the kids next door wanted the reporter to knock harder and that the reporter took the advice. It just is.
Commissioner Tim Hagan was surprised and angered when he learned of Bush's actions. County Administrator Jim McCafferty told the paper he intends to investigate fully in hopes of recouping the money paid to Bush in the last two years. The children still think the reporter did not knock hard enough. We don't think the Plain Dealer talked about themselves in the article enough.