WENDELL YOUNG: The Cincinnati city councilman has withdrawn his support from a study on the feasibility of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office taking control of all policing activities within city limits. Young, a retired cop, said he initially backed the study when City Council was considering laying off more than 100 officers to avoid a deficit, but noted the layoffs didn’t occur due to union concessions and other cuts. “Frankly, I believe such a merger is fraught with many problems anyway and I’m uncertain about this merger ever coming to pass,” Young said. Good for you. The “merger” (really a takeover) was a poorly thought-out, quickly crafted plan so council could sidestep making tough decisions.
PROCTER & GAMBLE: The Cincinnati-based manufacturer of household goods has set aside $574 million to pay possible fines stemming from a price-fixing allegation.
The Spanish government last week fined P&G $16.8 million, stating it illegally conspired with L’Oreal Group of France and Henkel Co. of Germany to set prices for hair-care products for nearly 20 years. Spain’s anti-trust regulator said the firms met regularly from 1989-2008 to share pricing data; P&G bought the company from Wella in 2004. Other European nations are expected to follow suit with similar charges against P&G. So much for Big Business constantly extolling the virtues of free markets and competition.
CINCYTECH: A $250,000 investment from CincyTech has lured a startup company to relocate from Chicago to Cincinnati. TurboBOTZ will relocate to the Queen City later this spring, as its two founders continue to develop an e-retailing platform to buy and sell used video games. The firm, founded by Vincent Chou and Pratap Shergill, is the 20th company helped by CincyTech. Launched in 2007, CincyTech is a public-private partnership that offers management assistance and seed-capital investments for firms involved in information technology and life sciences, with an eye toward creating jobs here.
OHIO GOP: Voters once again have fallen prey to the Republican Party’s bait-and-switch tactics. During last fall’s elections, GOP politicians said their primary concern — if elected — would be healing the economy and creating jobs, a message that resonated. But federal lawmakers wasted no time proposing bills to restrict abortion access, while Ohio pols have slipped in wording to the anti-union Senate Bill No. 5 that reiterates the state opposes same-sex marriages and even civil unions. Moreover, the language would prevent conferring any job-related benefits to non-marital partners of employees, whether gay or straight. Here’s a novel thought: Instead of focusing on issues like this, how about going after the greedy Wall Street types who wrecked the economy?