Ben Konop

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Ben Konop
Ben Konop 2009.jpg
Lucas County Commissioner, Ohio
In office
2007–2011
Preceded by Maggie Thurber
Personal details
Born (1976-03-01)March 1, 1976
Sylvania, Ohio
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of Michigan

Ben Konop is a former Lucas County Commissioner. He was a candidate for Mayor of Toledo, Ohio in 2009, as well as the Democratic Party candidate in Ohio's 4th congressional district for the United States House of Representatives in 2004.

Early life[edit]

Konop was raised in Lucas County. He attended Whiteford Elementary School and Ottawa Hills High School, where he played varsity basketball and baseball.[1] Konop's father is a Toledo lawyer. "We talked about politics around the kitchen table," Konop told The Blade. "Obviously, I had a strong Democratic upbringing." Konop volunteered on the then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992. At the age of 17, he was appointed by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur to serve as a page for the Democratic Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Konop received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Political career[edit]

Commissioner[edit]

Konop helped to eliminate the use of no-bid contracts by introducing a resolution that ended the practice of awarding contracts worth more than $5,000 for professional services without a formal bid process.[2] Konop called for all county commissioners' departments to seek three proposals or qualifications for professional services. Additionally, the resolution forced all departments to submit itemized documentation for the services that were provided during each billing period.

Konop stated that he wanted someone who represented the working-class and middle-class Lucas County to fill his spot on the Planning Board.[3] Mr. Jim Snodgrass, Jr., was chosen to replace Konop.[4]

Konop instituted a microchip scanning for dogs to help return lost pets to their owners. About 8,000 dogs were scanned for microchips.[5] Konop also fought for Toledo's Dog Warden, Tom Skeldon to resign, due to his questionable practices running the Dog Warden's office. Skeldon retired in January 2010.[6] Since Skeldon’s exit, there have been 407 fewer dogs killed than in 2009 and 939 fewer than in 2008.[7] In November 2009, Konop made a successful motion to adopt a moratorium that would ban the Dog Warden from killing puppies, including Pit Bull puppies, at least through 3 months of age.

Post Commissioner[edit]

Konop served the remainder of his term.[8] Later, Konop was employed as a columnist for the Toledo Blade where he covered the Detroit Tigers,[9] Bob Dylan’s first ever concerts in China and Vietnam,[10] and the first 2011 Republican Presidential debate in New Hampshire.[11] Mr. Konop's campaign for mayor received unflattering local and national attention thanks to a 2009 YouTube video in which he is repeatedly heckled during a news conference. Mr. Konop later participated in a follow-up video intending to spoof the heckler episode which brought him further negative coverage. The events harmed his campaign, and out of the six candidates for mayor, Konop finished at a distant fifth place.[12]

Since 2011, Konop has served as an Enforcement Attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) where he investigates prospective violations of and enforces laws related to credit cards, mortgages, student loans, bank accounts, money transfers, and payday loans. In 2012, Konop helped found a chapter of the National Treasury Employee Union at the CFPB and in 2013 he was elected Executive Vice President of the chapter. [13]

In 2014, Konop led employee efforts to combat race, gender and age bias within the CFPB. This effort resulted in an overhaul of the performance management review system and 5.5 million dollars being awarded to employees. On May 21st, the House Financial Services Committee on Oversight conducted a congressional hearing on issues related to discrimination at the CFPB. Konop was called as a witness and testified before the committee, highlighting his union members' concerns regarding pay equity and disparate impact affecting mionorities, woman, and employees over 40. [14] [15]

References[edit]

External links[edit]