Ohio Law

News and Announcements from the Supreme Court of Ohio and Other Governmental Entities Within the Buckeye State.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Five Justices Recuse Themselves From "Coin-Gate" Proceedings

Five Republican members of the Ohio Supreme Court stepped aside Wednesday from hearing two cases involving a $50 million workers' compensation system investment in rare coin funds that a GOP fundraiser managed. The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported Wednesday that the five had accepted $23,000 in campaign contributions from Thomas Noe of Maumee, the person who had been managing the fund.

Mr. Noe, a fundraiser for President Bush and statewide GOP officeholders, was paid at least $2.2 million for his management of the coin investments for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. He recently resigned from the Ohio Turnpike Commission and Ohio Board of Regents, and is under state and federal investigation over the coin funds and federal campaign contributions.

Pending before the Court is a request from The (Toledo) Blade to order the bureau to release un-redacted reports of coin fund audits and other information the newspaper contends is a public record.

Chief Justice Moyer and Justices Evelyn Stratton, Maureen O'Connor, Terrence O'Donnell and Judith Lanzinger recused themselves Wednesday from hearing both cases. As a result, Justice Alice Resnick will serve as chief justice in the matters and will assign appellate court judges to substitute for the five justices. Republican Justice Paul Pfeifer also will hear the case.

Source: Gongwer News Service



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