Former Joplin Globe editor Edgar Simpson must be having fun working in the Ohio attorney general's office.
Simpson served as spokesman for the latest bit of scandal surrounding his boss, new Attorney General Marc Dann:
While former Attorney General Jim Petro commuted to work in a 2003 Mercury Sable worth about $8,700, Dann will be squired around in a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban that's nearly twice as heavy and more than five times as valuable. Dann's office bought the SUV — complete with leather seats, a six-CD changer and dual-zone automatic climate control — for $40,373.98 from a Warren dealership whose owner donated to Dann's campaign. The vehicle, which is rated at 20 miles per gallon on highways and 15 mpg in the city, is likely to log a lot of miles. Dann lives near Warren, 173 miles from Downtown Columbus, and he keeps an ambitious schedule of visits to his satellite offices and of meetings with organizations.
Edgar Simpson, Dann's chief of policy and administration, said the new attorney general opted for a larger vehicle because he often travels with staff members.
"We talked a lot about the vehicle during the transition," Simpson said. "We wanted to use a vehicle that would get the job done for the people, and this is the one we needed."
Apparently, Dann, Simpson, and the staff will be crisscrossing Ohio in comfort:
When Dann travels, he'll do so in style. The Suburban includes creature comforts such as automatic climate control and an XM satellite radio. Dann plans to spring for the $12.95-per-month satellite radio subscription out of his own pocket, Simpson said.
I wonder what Simpson thinks of media coverage now.