Ben Konop

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Benjamin Zachary Konop
Ben Konop 2009.jpg
Lucas County Commissioner, Ohio
In office
Preceded by Maggie Thurber
Personal details
Born (1976-03-01)March 1, 1976
Sylvania, Ohio
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of Michigan

Benjamin Zachary Konop (born March 1, 1976)[1] is a former Lucas County Commissioner. He ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Toledo, Ohio in 2009, after a heckler booed him and called him a liar for going back on his pledge to remain in his county commissioner seat until his full term was up. If he had won the mayor's race, he would not have been able to complete his commissioner term. A video of the booing incident became an internet sensation on YouTube and was even spoofed on Comedy Central's South Park. The soundtrack of this video is also replayed yearly after MLB's All Star Break in mid July on Yahoo! Sports Radio's Steve Czaban Show with commentary from the Czaban Showhosts.

Konop also ran unsuccessfully 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.[2] Konop's father, Alan Sanford Konop, who was born in Michigan is a Toledo lawyer. His mother, Barbara Jane (Welch) Konop, was born in Ohio. "We talked about politics around the kitchen table," Konop told The Blade. "Obviously, I had a strong Democratic upbringing." Konop volunteered for then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992.

Konop received his bachelor of arts degree in history from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Political career[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.[3] 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.[4] Jim Snodgrass, Jr., was chosen to replace Konop.[5]

Konop instituted microchip scanning for dogs to help return lost pets to their owners. About 8,000 dogs were scanned for microchips.[6] 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.[7] Since Skeldon’s exit, there have been 407 fewer dogs killed than in 2009 and 939 fewer than in 2008.[8] 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 county commission[edit]

Konop served the remainder of his term.[9] Later, Konop was employed as a columnist for the Toledo Blade where he covered the Detroit Tigers,[10] Bob Dylan’s first ever concerts in China and Vietnam,[11] and the first 2011 Republican Presidential debate in New Hampshire.[12] 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 in fifth place.[13]

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.[14]

In 2014, Konop participated in his union's efforts to combat race, gender and age bias within the CFPB. This work by several union leaders and members resulted in a suspension of the performance management review system and $5.5 million 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 minorities, women, and employees over 40.[15][16]


External links[edit]