appeared to have it all.
What would seem odd later was that most of that background was true.W.Kevin Scott
simply left a few things out.
A touch of larceny
In the play Six Degrees of Separation, a handsome young con man claiming to be Sidney Poitier's son easily fools people who want to believe what he
tells them.By the time the Will Smith movie version came out, in 1993, Kevin Scott
himself had two faces, and one had hidden secrets.
That fraternity, for instance.Investigators would learn Scott
had been kicked out for suspicion of stealing money.
Then there was the first internship.In 1990, Scott was hired by the Ohio Legislative Services Commission to serve as intern to three Republican legislators.He was fired for falsifying time sheets - he collected state pay while working as a waiter.
Then there was the second internship.
Still in law school, Scott
was hired as an intern at the national law firm of Jones Day Reavis
was quietly fired for using a partner's credit card without authorization."Quietly" is the operative word, because Scott
was able to get another law firm internship the following summer.His
apparent propensity for thievery might have gone unnoticed, except when Scott
applied to take the Ohio bar exam, the examiners learned he
had been fired by both law firms, the second for alleged sexual harassment.Bar officials decided, as one source put it: "We need to write a letter so he
can never take the bar exam anywhere."
got another internship - at Procter & Gamble
.It lasted five months.Therein lies a tale to be told later.Instead of becoming a lawyer, Scott became a car salesman.
In this role, he
biggest mistake to date.He
used the identities of two people to get more than $31,000 in loans and lines of credit.
Exposed in 1996, Scott
was hauled into U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.He
pleaded guilty to two counts of bank and mail fraud.He
spent two months in prison and was released on probation.
A convicted felon.An ex-con.A chronic thief and apparent sociopath.Yet what would seem to be a bleak future was anything but.Within a year, Scott would be living in Bloomington, Ind., working for Cook, Inc., and earning accolades like this:
"It is our great pleasure to know that Kevin
now plans on a long-term commitment to Cook!Kevin has done a super job in the short time with us so far … Kevin is a pleasure to work with and has become a valuable member of the Cook team in a very short time.
Thanks for all the hard work."
‘A great asset to this company'
If there are curious gaps in the Kevin Scott chronicle, one of the strangest is how he
landed a job, on Dec. 8, 1997, with the prosperous Monroe County company which manufactures medical instruments for sale around the world.
For now, all that can be said with certainty is that Scott
had married.His wife Valerie is an accountant, and she enrolled at Indiana University for further studies.
They came to Bloomington, moved into a nice home, and Cook
, Inc. hired the 30-year-old ex-Ohioan on a "two-year commitment" to work in its corporate benefits department.Mrs. Scott for a time worked at Coopers & Lybrand.
The couple had a son.And Kevin
was a hit at Cook
In October 1998, his
department manager wrote enthusiastically, "He
obviously brought with him some strong business and legal skills.However, it has been his
enthusiastic, diligent effort in learning how Cook
does business, and in using his
skills to support our business efforts, that has been most noteworthy."His
first year was described as "exceptional."He
got a raise every year.In 1999, he
was promoted to manager of corporate administration.By early 2001, he
was rated "excellent" in seven out of eight categories.
...In July, W. Kevin Scott sent an e-mail and resume to Ken Stoughton, PERF human resources director, as a prelude to a formal interview.
was able to tout his
position handling a $19 million budget and administering benefits for 4,000 Cook
employees worldwide, along with enthusiastic reports of his
performance at Cook.Moreover, he
offered some heavyweight references from Cook
- John Kamstra, chief financial officer; Dr. John DeFord, president and CEO; Dan Peterson, executive vice president; and Phyllis McCullough, chairperson of the board.He
was one of four finalists.
Butler and Turner agreed on Scott
By now it was October, and if Scott
could clear the last hurdles - his
references and a routine criminal background check by Indiana State Police - he
would get the state job.
Then something rather astonishing happened.Scott's references came through.It was astonishing because Cook
had fired Scott
long before he
applied for the state job.
In fact, Cook
had terminated Scott
in March 2001, on grounds that Scott
had used company funds to have business cards printed showing him as Cook's corporate counsel.Scott
wasn't admitted before any bar.
Just as bizarre, Cook
executives now knew Scott
was a convicted felon.
"would do very well" at PERF, she
opined.When asked what she
would do if Scott
and wanted to come back, she
replied, "There is a policy against rehiring."
needed improvement in the area of "maturity."
easily passed the criminal background check.It was easy because he
provided the Social Security number of another Kevin Scott
with no criminal history.He
would have passed with his
own number anyway.Federal law prohibits access to the national crime data base for employment record checks. In November, Scott officially joined the PERF team, giving him access to private information on thousands of Hoosiers.
The blame gameFrom November until August 2002, Scott worked at PERF without complaint or suspicion.
In the summer, The Indianapolis Star ran an article about state employees who got jobs during a hiring freeze.Scott
$95,000 annual salary were mentioned.Shortly, an anonymous woman left a telltale message on a recorder at the newspaper.
Scott's felony conviction was exposed.Scott
resigned and was arrested later on a federal charge of misuse of a Social Security number.
attorney also said Scott
had told the three executives PERF
knew about his
In fact, Scott
had had a brief internship with Procter & Gamble
By this point, the media focus had changed.Because O'Bannon's
staff had ordered the criminal background check, he
was blamed for not being more thorough.