COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. John Kasich denied a clemency request Friday from a former Toledo-area coin dealer who raised money for Ohio Republicans before being convicted in a state investment scandal that also ensnared a former governor.
Kasich's assistant chief counsel informed Tom Noe of the decision in a brief letter, saying the governor determined the use of his executive clemency power "is not warranted at this time."
Noe, 61, is serving an 18-year prison term for stealing from a $50 million rare-coin fund that he oversaw for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.
The Republican governor's decision was in line with a recommendation from the Ohio Parole Board.
Attorney Mike Miller, who handled Noe's clemency request, expressed disappointment with Kasich's decision but said he understood it given the board's recommendation. Miller said the clemency request could be revisited after a two-year period.
Prosecutors said Noe used state money to pay off business loans and to fund a lavish lifestyle, including the renovation of his Florida Keys home. Noe was allotted $50 million to invest for the state injured worker insurance fund, which he put into such questionable items as rare coins, Beanie Babies toys and other collectibles.
The investment scandal, dubbed Coingate, engulfed the state in 2005. It reached into the highest levels of state government and led to the convictions of former Gov. Bob Taft, his chief of staff and 17 others.
The scandal helped Democrats win four of five statewide elective offices in 2006.