Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Culture of Corruption: 4 Plead No Contest in Ohio Ethics Case


In a scandal that has shaken the state's Republican-dominated government, four Ohio politicians pleaded no contest Wednesday to ethics violations.

Lucas County Commissioner Maggie Thurber, Toledo City Councilwoman Betty Shultz, former Toledo Mayor Donna Owens and former state Rep. Sally Perz were fined $1,000 each on misdemeanor charges of failing to report gifts worth more than $75.

They were accused of receiving money from prominent GOP donor Tom Noe, then contributing it to President Bush's re-election campaign in their own names in an alleged scheme by Noe to skirt laws limiting individual contributions to $2,000.

The four bring to 14 the number of people charged in the scandal centered on Noe, who was hired by the Ohio Workers' Compensation Bureau to manage a $50 million investment in rare coins.

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