Saturday, September 15, 2001

Ex-welfare chief pleads guilty

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — A former state welfare department director pleaded guilty Friday to having an illegal interest in a public contract.

        Arnold Tompkins, former director of what is now the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, also pleaded guilty to violating Ohio ethics laws.

        He was accused of improperly steering state welfare contracts to Accenture, a company for which he later worked.

        Mr. Tompkins faces up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine when he is sentenced in November. He declined to comment after entering his pleas in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

        Consultant Donna Givens will plead guilty as early as next week to a conflict-of-interest violation, said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien. He said the plea would allow her to enter a diversion program for first offenders.

        Mr. Tompkins, 51, held the Cabinet post from 1993 to 1998, and Ms. Givens, 54, was a manager for Accenture.


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