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.

Metro RTA

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


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
Government and 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

Nature and nourishment down by the river at the Metroparks' Merwin's Wharf
I love QUICKBITES! I look forward to it every week. One question: is it possible to include a link to the restaurant or store that you profile? Thanks!

Canton's proposed Timken-McKinley school merger is drawing spirited debate
From a sports opinion Varsity would have a lot more talent to choose from So Im sure varsity sports would improve.Also Timkens name would be much more published...

Canton school board will decide whether to merge high schools
I really hope we can save those jobs, usually we try to cut budgets but the demand is still the same. Then we look bad a year or two after the descion is made. ...

FirstEnergy wants PUCO guarantees on nuclear and coal prices
Would just comment that the plant has admitted the following (as reporting in the Akron Beacon Journal): "The utility has said it may have difficulty keeping t...

Mozzarella's easy when you have a way with curd
Hello, Where can I get such a heater that you have? Does it hold temperature that you set? What brand and model is it? Thank you in advance!! :)

Pluto: A healthy LeBron James is the key for the rocky Cavs
It's time to back our Cleveland professional teams through thick and thin. I've seen management, players and coaches come and go and it hasn't changed a thing. ...

Legal marijuana group offers new details about ballot issue
Americans feel as if they should have the right to decide on their own if and when it is or is not a responsible time to have a drink or smoke a joint. The fac...

The PUCO is assessing what happened in Akron's AT&T outage
not the first time for that steam pipe break... happened in the late 70's when the office was being converted to electronic switch ESS.. was a big mess then but...

The freeze of green-energy standards hurts Ohio wind and solar industries
What do we do at night and when the wind isn't blowing? Where does the power come from to back-up these renewable sources?

Gov. Kasich may still face budget battles with Ohio lawmakers
Governor Kasich continues to disappoint many of us who voted for him when he was elected Governor four years ago. It is way past time for charter schools to b...

Copyright © 2015 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