Atty Gen: Dann (D) Statement on Noe Guilty Verdict
Disgraced Republican fundraiser and powerbroker Tom Noe was found guilty of 29 of 40 charges, including theft, corrupt activity, money laundering, forging records and tampering with documents. He was convicted on the principal charge of engaging in a pattern of corruption in his management of a $50 million rare-coin fund investment for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. The jury found that he stole money from the bureau and used it to wipe out debts and buy and furnish million-dollar homes.
“Today marks the end of the beginning of our efforts to wipe out the pay-to-play culture that has been so pervasive in state government,” said attorney general-elect State Sen. Marc Dann (D-Liberty Township). “While there may be other trials connected to the corruption that has flourished in Columbus since 1991, I will do everything in my power to change the way business is done in Ohio from this point on. That is the only way we can restore the trust that has been eroded by scandals like Coingate and the people like Tom Noe who have perpetrated them.”
Dann noted that while he is gratified by the verdict in this case, much more remains to be done to ensure that Ohioans have the honest, ethical government they want, need, and deserve. “As we speak, Terry Gasper is testifying in the federal trial of two politically-connected investment managers who allegedly bribed him in return for being given access to millions of dollars from the BWC,” Dann said. “We’re just beginning to investigate whether the Bureau improperly granted millions of dollars worth of premium cuts to employers and Noe still faces the money laundering charges that I filed with the Ohio Elections Commission. This verdict was a good start, but we still have a long way to go.”
Dann said he and members of his transition team are already developing new ethical standards and procedures designed to guarantee that the state has seen the last of Tom Noe and his ilk. “I plan to greatly intensify the AG office’s oversight of state contracting and I will lead by example by holding myself and my staff to the highest possible ethical benchmarks and levels of accountability and transparency.”
“The fact is that it will take us years to unravel the web of corruption that’s been spun around the Statehouse over the two decades,” Dann noted. “Fortunately, there’s a new team of officeholders coming to town who are committed to turning the state around and making the government serve the people rather than the special interests. I am proud to be a part of that team and I look forward to working with them to build a brighter future for every Ohioan.”
UPDATE: Ohio Senate Democratic Whip Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) chimes in:
“Hopefully, this is one of the final strikes against the culture of corruption that swept in and held Ohio in a strangle hold for over a decade. This week marks the beginning of a new direction for Ohio. Be it state officials, bureaucrats, or private investors, Ohioans have put their foot down and made it very clear that graft and corruption are not acceptable substitutes for leadership and effective public policy. We are clearing the way for real growth and progress in Ohio.”