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Published: 8/6/2007

Wife of Columbus mayor charged over bogus work hours, faces 180 days in jail and fine

BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU
Frankie Coleman Frankie Coleman
KIICHIRO SATO / AP Enlarge

COLUMBUS Frankie Coleman, the wife of Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman, has been charged with two misdemeanors for failing to work the hours for which she was paid as a state employee and then lying to investigators.

She faces potential jail time of 180 days and up to a $1,000 fine on each first-degree misdemeanor charge of attempted theft and falsification. She is expected to answer to the charges Tuesday in Franklin County Municipal Court.

Mrs. Coleman returned to an alcohol rehabilitation program just before the Ohio inspector general issued his report indicating that she had admitted lying to them about the number of hours she had worked with the Department of Development.

The report indicated she had been paid for 56 hours that she didn t work during her three months on the state payroll.

She first underwent alcohol treatment in 2005 after a drunken-driving arrest.

The report was also critical of her boss, Development Director and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, for overlooking obvious red flags that there was a problem. Mrs. Coleman s husband was Mr. Fisher s running mate in his unsuccessful run for governor in 1998.

Mr. Coleman also headed Gov. Ted Strickland s transition team following his victory in November, and Mrs. Coleman worked on that team before landing her state job as assistant manager of workforce development.

The charges were announced by Columbus City Attorney Richard C. Pfeifefer Jr. and county Prosecutor Ron O Brien.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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