Turnpike Plans Ethics Training Of Its Employees

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio Turnpike Commission said Monday it has arranged for ethics training for employees, 30 of whom were recently found to have accepted gifts from contractors.

The commission, detailing its response to a critical state inspector general's report, said the Ohio Ethics Commission will present a two-hour ethics seminar for turnpike employees on Nov. 14.

The toll road said its proposed ethics policy covered the inspector general's recommendations that the turnpike ban employees from accepting gifts and banning the hiring of relatives.

The turnpike expects to adopt the policy after the ethics commission completes its review of the draft.

The draft policy sent to the ethics commission Sept. 10 would prohibit turnpike employees, including executives and commission members, from accepting one-time gifts valued at more than $10 or several gifts that total more than $25 per year from the same source.

Gino Zomparelli, the turnpike's executive director, resigned Aug. 8, amid allegations that he took gifts from contractors.

The turnpike commission said it would designate an employee to serve as a liaison with the ethics commission to provide information on future questions about operations of the 241-mile toll road.

The turnpike also said it had asked state Auditor Jim Petro to conduct an audit of its operations "to dispel any misconceptions about the commission's business practices."

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