This column was first published in The Rooster.

I don’t know much about legal matters because I’ve tried avoiding them for most of my life, but one term I know thanks to watching Murder, She Wrote is “alibi.” It’s pretty straight forward –– if you weren’t at the scene of a crime when a crime happened, you probably didn’t commit that crime. Another axiom I’ve learned is “don’t mess with the FBI.” However, this was a new one –– what if someone who has been indicted by the FBI calls the cops on you for trespassing on their property while you’re in another state? Perhaps I should start from the beginning…

Matt Borges is a longtime Ohio political operative who was once chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. He first got into public corruption during his time at the state treasurer’s office by peddling influence in exchange for special favors, donations and the usual corrupt Republican stuff. Borges got busted, pleaded guilty and paid a fine in 2004. He rebuilt his reputation and began working with Republican campaign veteran (and now-admitted pedophile) John Weaver on John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and John Kasich’s various runs, ultimately earning the chairman role with Ohio’s GOP for his loyalty. One of Borges’ tasks in 2014 was to make sure Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl was kicked off the ballot in an effort that Borges later accidentally admitted the Ohio Republican Party had coordinated.

In 2016, Borges got “credit” for being anti-Trump (since he was so pro-Kasich) and eventually lost his chairmanship to the pro-Trump crowd, so he instead went into the lucrative world of lobbying. At some point within this timeline, he settled down in my hometown of Bexley and became a lobbyist for FirstEnergy. According to court documents, Borges got swept up in the HB 6 investigation in 2019 because he allegedly took $1.62 million from Generation Now (which has since pleaded guilty) and/or FirstEnergy (which has also since pleaded guilty) so he could help kill the HB 6 referendum campaign. His alleged expenditures include bribing folks on the referendum campaign and potentially even bribing Attorney General Dave Yost. After all, Borges started his consulting firm, 17 Consulting Group, on August 5, 2019 and Yost rejected the referendum language only a week later. In October that year, Borges gave Yost a donation of $10,000, which was a neat, coincidental thing to do.

While Borges has consistently maintained his innocence in the media, one place he hasn’t escaped scorn is the mean streets of Bexley. As someone who grew up and graduated from high school in Bexley myself (and eventually ran for mayor in 2007!) I know how judgmental that sweet lil’ suburb can be. So when the HB 6 news broke in July last year, I posted an article about Borges in the various Bexley Facebook groups to make sure folks were aware of the arrest. Sure enough, people who knew Borges had mixed reactions to the news. Naturally, on the one-year anniversary of the HB 6 arrests this year, I wanted to again remind everyone in the Bexley Facebook groups about that fateful day and who exactly Borges is.

Well this time, Borges noticed. At first, he responded as he has in the media –– eloquently and arrogantly in a long-winded claim of innocence. But by Monday, apparently Borges must have seen Neil Clark’s Ghost and flipped his lid. While I was working on my laptop in LA, I saw a cryptic comment from Borges come through on a different Bexley Facebook group post: “Saw you trespass on our property earlier today Travis. Tsk tsk.” I naturally grabbed a screenshot before he could hide and delete it and sure enough, apparently Borges called the Bexley Police on me for trespassing on his property while I wasn’t even in the state. The Bexley Police paid an uneventful visit to my sweet ol’ parents’ house, resulting in them obviously telling the police that I was in LA. They also pointed out that Borges had been charged in the largest bribery scandal in Ohio history, to which the officers responded, “Oh, we know!” They all had a good laugh and my parents were still chuckling when they called me.

Yes, unlike the Statehouse, you can’t buy friends in Bexley. Additionally, does this mean every time Borges sees Neil Clark’s Ghost and thinks it’s me, he can just call the police? It would be typical of him to disrespect taxpayer dollars. And while I don’t know much about the law like Mr. Borges, I’m pretty sure ORC Sec. 2917.32A says you can’t make up that I walked on your lawn and then lie to the cops about it. A psychopath wouldn’t do that to get back at me for my social media posts, would they? I guess I’ll leave that up to the experts at Murder, She Wrote. Luckily in Matt’s case, his record speaks for itself.