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Final Report on Coingate Released

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSPD) -- The Ohio Inspector General's office has released a report on the 2005 coin investment scandal at the Bureau of Workers Compensation. It resulted in 19 convictions, including Republican fundraiser Tom Noe.

The report does not include any new findings on the case. That's due in part because the federal rules of evidence only allow certain people to have access to case files.

"We're not on that list," Inspector General Randall Meyer said. 

Instead, the report looks at the 75 recommendations made after the scandal to see how many had been put into place.

"The recommendations were put into place and the standards have changed," he said.

The scandal began with a $50 million investment by the BWC into a rare-coin fund run by Noe. He is in prison on federal and state charges and is appealing. Those appeals are one reason Meyer says they had a tough time trying to get access to information.

While he wouldn't say it would be impossible to pull off a similar scandal today, he says it would be much tougher.

"There's a lot more checks and balances and there's a lot more people that you'd have to corrupt to get something like this to happen again the way it did in 2005," he said.

The report has been a target of questions from Meyer's critics about why it has taken so long to release. The Toledo Blade even filed a lawsuit over the delays.

“For nearly a decade, Republican Inspectors General have made excuses, but promised answers on the Coingate scandal that rocked Ohio. Instead, we received nothing more than a compilation of already released, seven-year-old reports from other government agencies," said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern. 

“Ohioans deserve an explanation for why this report has been delayed for so many years, and why it gives us no new information, such as what they learned from Republican elected officials involved in covering up Tom Noe’s crimes which funded the Ohio Republican Party and their candidates for so many years.” 

Meyer says no matter what he does, his critics won't be satisfied.

"I'm not in a position to satisfy critics. They will always be my critics," said Meyer. "I did what I thought was best for the state of Ohio with the resources that we have available to us here."

 

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