News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Don Drumm Studios

Genie of Fairview Door Company

Greater Akron Chamber


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Politics


Ohio IG reports on "coingate" a decade later -- and critics question why
Open government advocates and Democrats say there's no new investigation of the key questions
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 
Tom Noe is in prison; other records are expunged in a scandal that led Gov. Bob Taft to plead guilty.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Ohio' Inspector General Randall Meyer has released his report on the investigation of Coingate --  a decade after the scandalous investment was discovered. As Ohio Public Radio' Jo Ingles reports, the report itself is raising new questions.

LISTEN: Coingate a decade later

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:59)


The Inspector General finds no new wrongdoing in this report on the scandal that involved a $50 million investment with Tom Noe, a Republican operative who invested money from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation into things like Beanie Babies and collectable coins.

Noe is serving an 18-year prison sentence for stealing nearly $5 million from the fund. In the months after the scandal broke, it uncovered influence peddling by the investment chiefs at worker’s comp. Lobbyists and aides had accepted tickets to sporting events, condo stays, cash and other perks. Eventually, the scandal hit the state’s top Republican, then-Gov. Bob Taft, who ended up pleading no contest to four ethics violations.

Meyer’s report concentrates on Noe, but he also concluded the state has changed the way it handles investments since that time to safeguard against bad investments. And Meyer recommends the state continue to follow those new laws and policies.

Why the delay, and where are the transcripts?
But the head of Ohio’s Democratic Party, Chris Redfern, says the IG didn’t do his job. 

“Randy Meyer’s investigation wasn’t to investigate the crimes of Lucas County.  It was to investigate how Tom Noe came to get millions of dollars in state government or the control of it and what he did with it. We will never know the truth now because Tom Charles, and now Randy Meyer, a good Republican supported by Republican Govs. George Voinovich, Bob Taft and now John Kasich, has chosen to look the other way.

“It’s a fact that this inspector general has spent more time investigating and bringing disciplinary charges against park rangers for using out of state licenses improperly than he has investigating millions of dollars stolen that belongs to the taxpayers.”

Meyer, through his spokesperson, declined to comment on the report.

The Ohio Republican Party’s Chris Schrimpf also declined comment. But a spokeswoman for a group that watches state government isn’t holding back. Catherine Turcer with Common Cause Ohio says she can’t understand why this report is coming a full decade after Toledo Blade reporters discovered the crimes.

Expunged records
“There’s nothing in here that would suggest they needed years and years to get this together. And in fact, one of my favorite things in the report, was how they explain some of the individuals were not only prosecuted, found guilty, convicted, but in fact their records had already been expunged by the time this report was released.”

Turcer’s group wanted to find out everyone who was involved with the scandal from the beginning, but she says this report didn’t even try to answer those questions.

“It is fairly typical when government entities release these types of investigations to provide transcripts of interviews. But this is not what was included. And so what we are getting is the kind of summary that we could have gotten from newspaper reports or looking at some court records. We are not getting that peak behind the curtain to what happened during the investigation.”

Turcer says she’s not sure what her group will do in response to this report.

But Redfern says many of the records that couldn’t be accessed before because they were part of the investigation should be available for inspection now. And issues that haven’t been answered in this report can be raised during the coming months.

The real question is whether Ohioans still have an interest in Coingate one decade later.

 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

FitzGerald isn't giving up, but many Stark voters are worried, wary and weary
SB5 stands for "Snow Ball 5" because voters have about a snow ball's chance of remembering what it was.

Columbus groups are trying to pass a Bill of Rights to combat fracking
Its about time we make a stand against the criminal actions of an entire Indsutry.

Crystal Ball says Ohio governor's race is done
How much is the Kasich campaign paying you to keep repeating the phrase "woman who is not his wife"? Fitzgerald was in the car with a friend who happens to be f...

Plane that crashed killing Case students is a popular training aircraft
The following is incorrect. The last few words should read "UNDER maximum gross take-off weight." “They have a normal take-off speed and all those take-off...

Exploradio: The never-ending war against superbugs
Super Federico ,we are so proud of you ,and very lucky to be among your friends . Keep it up human kind needs people like you to survive .Thanks for being so d...

Ohio's Lyme disease-carrying tick population is exploding
Interesting report. The last sentence needs some editing. It isn't a good idea to "save garments carrying ticks for analysis." The garments carrying t...

Teach for America enters third year in Ohio
For more background on TFA, check out http://reconsideringtfa.wordpress.com/

Faith leaders hold week-long prayer vigil at Ohio Statehouse
I think this is the wrong link to the audio. Its Andy Chow about cigarette taxes.

A $30 million plan to turn Cleveland's Public Square from gray to green
The current plan is for the Land Bank, RTA, and Mr. Jeremy Paris to run a bus line through the new Public Square and cutting the park in half. Save Public Squar...

Medina County residents question safety of proposed natural gas pipeline
I'm very concerned about this nexus project. I've received mail requesting my permission to allow the company to survey my property. I don't understand how thi...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University