Created on Thursday, 11 April 2013 Written by REUBEN MEES
Retired park manager accused of ignoring policy,
cleared of improper contract awards
A report released by the Ohio Inspector General’s Office on Thursday accuses retired Indian Lake State Park Manager Frank Giannola of ignoring certain inventory and invoice payment policies but clears him of more serious allegations of improper fuel use and steering bids to a contractor.
“The complainant, an (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) regional supervisor for Indian Lake State Park, had concerns with several activities occurring at the park. In particular, he stated there were issues with improper handling of invoices; improper handling of state equipment; improper fuel usage; and missing state equipment,” the report reads.
“During the course of the investigation, another complainant came forward alleging Indian Lake State Park Manager Frank Giannola was improperly steering ODNR contracts to A&A Contractors, a construction firm. This allegation was added to the issues being reviewed.”
The initial allegations came forward in December 2011 and Mr. Giannola and Joseph Moran were reassigned to Buck Creek State Park in February 2012. They both retired in December 2012 after lengthy careers with the state agency.
The policy violations relate to Mr. Giannola’s handling of inventory, specifically allowing a Fort Loramie marine to sell parts from old motors instead of disposing of the assets through ODNR’s central headquarters, and the improper submission of a bill to close out a purchase order.
The Ohio Inspector General's report is available below
The Inspector General found Mr. Giannola in violation in three areas, although only one was an actual violation of Ohio Revised Code.
There was no evidence of improper fuel usage and the claim by Don Williams Contracting that Mr. Giannola was sending competing bids to A&A was not substantiated and was also dismissed.
The Inspector General then recommended that ODNR make a detailed inventory of assets at Indian Lake, conduct training with park managers regarding inventory policy and payment of invoice policies, and require park managers to time and date stamp bid submissions.
Mr. Giannola was pleased with the government watchdog’s findings.
“The reason I am pleased is because this exonerates me of the groundless, rumor-based complaints that were out there,” he said. “They found no grounds that I was steering contracts; they found no grounds I gave away an ODNR computer; and they found no grounds I misused fuel.
“It did play out that there were two minor issues with paperwork, but overall I am pleased with the report.”