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Published: 8/22/2008

Beazley says port chief never cleared raise with him

BLADE STAFF
Beazley Teigland Beazley Teigland
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Lucas County Administrator Michael Beazley said yesterday he was never consulted regarding a pay raise for Kathy Teigland, the lobbyist for the Northwest Ohio Legislative Consortium whose relationship with the president of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority eventually cost him his job.

"The first time I heard it mentioned or discussion of any raise for the consultant was in the Toledo Blade," Mr. Beazley said.

Hundreds of e-mails between port authority President James Hartung and Ms. Teigland, which were released by the agency Wednesday and last week, show that the two had engaged in a relationship.

Mr. Hartung was fired Aug. 1 by a unanimous vote of the 13-member port board because of the "inappropriate" relationship with Ms. Teigland, said William

Carroll, chairman of the port authority's board of directors.

Mr. Hartung agreed to the pay increase at the beginning of last year and in an e-mail to Ms. Teigland assured her that he had spoken to the county administrator.

Mr. Beazley said he was not consulted about her salary.

"The level of her compensation was something that the port authority managed and the only discussion that took place that I am aware of, or I discussed with our county board of commissioners and our legislative representatives, was whether or not we would continue to participate," Mr. Beazley said.

She pressed Mr. Hartung for information about her lobbying contract in January, 2006.

"What is the status of your direct calls as it relates to the increase in the monthly retainer," she asked the port authority president on Jan. 24, 2006.

On Jan. 26, 2006, Mr. Hartung wrote: "Been out ill most of the week, but [Lucas County Administrator Mike] Beazley and I did manage to connect. ... He is OK with increase. [Mayor] Carty [Finkbeiner] is a bit more problematic at this point but I'm not going to discuss your compensation with him. ... With Beazley on board, I now have sufficient comfort to move on signing a new agreement."

Later, Ms. Teigland wrote to Mr. Hartung that his wife should leave him with nothing.

"When she comes to know what you did this last eight years, I hope she leaves you with nothing," Ms. Teigland wrote in a Nov. 20, 2006 e-mail.

"To quote my worst enemy: 'It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.'•"

Less than three weeks later, she told Mr. Hartung in another e-mail that her annual fee for lobbying would increase to $120,000.

Mr. Hartung at the time was leading the Northwest Ohio Legislative Consortium as its administrator.

The consortium at that time consisted of the port authority, city of Toledo, Lucas County, the University of Toledo, the Regional Growth Partnership, and the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Each member paid its dues to the port authority, which in turn, paid Ms. Teigland.

The consortium ceased to exist after the end of 2007.

Ms. Teigland, 56, on Wednesday said she never inappropriately pressured Mr. Hartung, 65, to increase her salary.

"My fees are always half of what a Washington lobbyist charges because my expenses are half and I am able to pass those savings on to my clients," she said.

Ms. Teigland said there was no connection between the two e-mails - the one mentioning Mr. Hartung's wife and the other informing him of her new salary.

On Dec. 7, 2006, she wrote in an e-mail to Mr. Hartung: "Poll your other [legislative consortium] members to see if they are in for next year. If so, prepare the contract. This year I will charge $120K."

Neither Mr. Hartung nor Ms. Teigland could not be reached last night for comment.

"I wasn't using leverage for a higher salary," she said Wednesday. "Doesn't [the e-mail] say that I want you to go back to the other members? There is no link."

Ms. Teigland on Jan. 5, 2006, questioned Mr. Hartung if her $8,000 monthly salary paid during 2005 would remain the same in 2006.

Mr. Hartung's reply was yes.

Ms. Teigland then reminded Mr. Hartung that she had asked for a $1,000-a-month raise to total $108,000.

On Jan. 9, 2006, Ms. Teigland for the first time in an e-mail told Mr. Hartung that his wife could be involved.

"You counted on the love we had for you to protect your dishonest behavior. I certainly hope [your wife] comes to the same realization I have come to know and understand. Perhaps she'll get a bit of a nudge in that direction," she wrote on that date.

Mr. Hartung was paid $178,165 a year to lead the port authority.

He has requested to arbitrate his firing and is seeking severance compensation, including about $100,000 to be paid in nine monthly installments and continuing health insurance for that time.

That was denied to him by the port board's specification that Mr. Hartung was terminated "with cause."

- Ignazio Messina



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