Director Gallagher’s husband John Gallagher was the lead engineer who worked on the traffic study and design phase of the Little Turtle Roadway project
Joe Motil

Former Columbus City Council candidate and longtime community advocate Joe Motil is submitting petition signatures this Wednesday to run for Mayor of Columbus in the May 2, 2023 primary election.

Motil states, “(Yesterday’s) Columbus Dispatch story, “One year on, Ethics Commission probe into Little Turtle contract appears ongoing” further puts into question the unethical actions of Public Service Director Jennifer Gallagher. Mayor Ginther should have demanded her resignation over a year ago.”

Motil says, “I filed an ethics complaint with City of Columbus Chief Ethics Officer Renata Ramsini on November 17, 2021 against Public Service Director Gallagher. I claimed, ‘evidence appears to show that Director Gallagher signed off on at least one if not more city contracts that were awarded to Carpenter Marty Transportation.’ The contract in question is city of Columbus Ordinance 0856-2018 which reads ‘To authorize the Director of Public Service to enter into a professional services contract with Carpenter Marty Transportation for the Roadway Improvements – Little Turtle Way project; to authorize the expenditure of up to $350,000.00 from the Streets and Highways Bond Fund to pay for this contract; and to declare an emergency. ($350,000.00).’”  

Motil continues, “Court documents from the ongoing Little Turtle lawsuit against the city of Columbus prove that Director Gallagher’s husband John Gallagher was the lead engineer who worked on the traffic study and design phase of the Little Turtle Roadway project.”

Motil’s ethics complaint cited Mayor Ginther’s Executive Order on Ethics and Conduct under section(A) Prohibited Conduct(1)(f) which reads:

(1) A City of Columbus public official or employee shall not engage in prohibited conduct, which includes, but is not limited to:

(f) Voting, authorizing, recommending, or in any way using one’s position to secure approval of a City of Columbus contract (including employment or personal services) in which an official or employee, a family member, or anyone with whom an official or employee has a business or employment relationship, has an interest. 

Motil further states, “Because my complaint was sent to the city’s Office of Ethics and Campaign Finance about a specific violation of the Mayors Executive Order on Ethics and Conduct, I felt that the city should have investigated it themselves and ruled on my complaint. Instead, I was told by Ethics Officer Ramsini that they would, “defer any further action pending review by the Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC).” Because the city refused to act on its legal obligations, I had to file additional evidence to the OEC to support my complaint.”  

Motil concludes, “After more than a year after my complaint was filed, Director Gallagher is still signing off on professional service contracts and other public infrastructure contracts in the tens of millions of dollars to big time campaign contributors to Mayor Ginther and various Columbus City Council members. This alleged unethical behavior of a high-ranking City of Columbus official is just one of numerous past examples as to why I will create an Office of Anti-Corruption that will properly discipline and hold individuals accountable if I am elected Mayor of Columbus.”