An Overview of Governor Bob Taft,
Thomas Noe and the Bureau of Workers Compensation
April 3, 2005
The Toledo Blade first reports that the Bureau of Workers Compensation has invested $50 million in rare coins with coin dealer and prominent Republican Thomas Noe.

April 7, 2005
Governor Taft defends his campaign contributor Mr. Noe and the state's investment. "The bottom line is: Is it making money for the state? And it was. He was making money for the state; what's the problem?…(Tom Noe) has probably been the most effective advocate for this part of the state in Columbus that you've got and you're going after this guy. You're trying to kill him for some reason."

Ohio Inspector General Tom Charles announces he will investigate "alleged wrongful acts associated with the investment practices" of the state Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

April 27, 2005
The FBI confirms that it is investigating Thomas Noe for possible violations of campaign contribution laws. It is alleged that Noe gave associates money to donate to the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign, allowing him to exceed federal spending limits.

May 2, 2005
"We made a good deal for the state insurance fund, when we invested with Mr. Noe. When we leave, if we leave with Mr. Noe, It's going to be a good deal for the state insurance fund." -James Conrad, Director of the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation

May 9, 2005
The state announces it will dissolve its $50 million investment in rare coins with Noe.

May 10, 2005
Noe resigns his seats on the Ohio Turnpike Commission and the Ohio Board of Regents.

May 11, 2005
The Toledo Blade asks the Ohio Supreme Court to order the state Bureau of Worker's Compensation to release uncensored records of the bureau's $50 million investment with Noe.

May 18, 2005
Five of Ohio's seven Supreme Court justices recuse themselves from any public records cases that involve Noe and the coin investment. The five had all received campaign contributions from Noe.

May 22, 2005
Governor Taft is "fed up." He orders state fraud investigators to execute an inventory of all rare coins owned by the state. Investigators are refused entry by Tom Noe at offices where coins are kept.

May 23, 2005
The Inspector General Thomas Charles asks Taft's office for records because he found during his investigation that "certain members of the governor's staff may have received lodging accommodations and other items" from Noe.

May 24, 2005
Attorney General Jim Petro goes to court to take control of state rare-coins funds from Noe. The Ohio inspector general seeks telephone and email records of four high-level employees of Taft who allegedly took gifts from Noe.

May 25, 2005
The Bureau of Workers Compensation says it is conducting around-the-clock surveillance of Noe's office after three days of non-cooperation with Ohio fraud investigators.

May 30, 2005
Law enforcement agents raid Noe's headquarters and cart off state assets and hard drives.

May 31, 2005
State Attorney General's office releases reports that nearly $7 million worth of coins could not be found. Nearly $10-$12 million in state assets are missing from the $50 million venture.

June 2, 2005
The Toledo Blade reports that H. Douglas Talbott, a former high-ranking aide to Gov. Taft accepted $39,000 from Noe so he could buy a house in Lakeside, OH. Talbott did not list the loan in his ethics form as required by Ohio law.

June 5, 2005
Attorney General Petro acknowledges that Bernadette Noe, lawyer and wife of Tom Noe may have successfully lobbied his office to direct thousands of dollars in contracts to her law firm to collect debt on behalf of the state.

June 6, 2005
Colorado law enforcement agents seize about 265 Cuban cigars, hundreds of rare coins and bottles of wine, computers and documents from the home and office of Michael Storeim, a friend and business associate of Tom Noe. Investigators believe items seized may have been purchased with money from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

June 8, 2005
Ohio media reports that the Bureau of Workers Compensation concealed over $215 million in losses and it appears that the Governor was aware of the problem for months.

June 14, 2005
Governor Taft sends a letter to the Ohio Ethics Commission stating that it has, "recently come to my attention that I failed to list a number of golf outings or events on my financial disclosure forms over the past several years."
July 22, 2005 Ohio Attorney general, Jim Petro, says that Tom Noe stole millions of dollars from the state and used a "Ponzi" scheme to fabricate his profits. "Ponzi" schemes are a type of illegal pyramid scheme named for Charles Ponzi, who duped thousands of New England residents into investing in a postage stamp speculation scheme back in the 1920s.

July 29, 2005
Brian K. Hicks, former Chief of Staff of Gov. Bob Taft, and Cherie N. Carroll, Hicks' executive assistant, admit that they took gifts from Noe. Hicks pleads no contest to knowingly failing to list on financial disclosure forms that he and his family stayed at Noe's 1.3 million dollar house in Florida in 2002 and 2003. Carroll pleads no contest to a misdemeanor: "recklessly" accepting meals from Noe valued at over $500.

August 2, 2005
Judge Charles Wittenberg of the Lucas County Common Pleas Court confirms that a second "special" grand jury is investigating the state scandal involving Tom Noe and his coin fund.

August 4, 2005
Governor Bob Taft reveals a partial list of golf outings including games with Thomas Noe. Taft does not reveal who paid for these outings.

August 5, 2005
Records continue to be released to the press about the BWC and Noe. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Thomas Noe loaned more than a half-million dollars in state money to a comic book dealer who used rare comic books as collateral.

August 9, 2005
The Toledo Blade reports that Noe used his American Express credit card from Thomas Noe, Inc.-- the same company that he's accused of using as a vehicle to steal millions from Ohio's rare-coin funds-- to contribute $10,000 to Arnold Schwarzenegger.

August 16, 2005
The Toledo Blade reports that the state auditor's office is set to spend an extra $645,000 on its investigation into the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation's $50 million investment with coin dealer Tom Noe.

August 19, 2005
Gov. Bob Taft pleads "no contest" to four misdemeanor ethics charges.

August 27, 2005
An account released by Tom Noe's attorney states that on May 13, 2001, Mr. Noe told Gov. Bob Taft about the $25 million rare-coin fund he operated for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation at the Toledo area golf club, Inverness. Gov. Taft maintains he didn't know about the state's rare-coin investment with Mr. Noe until April 3, when The Toledo Blade first reported it.

September 8, 2005
James McLean, the chief investment officer of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, is fired by Tina Keilmeyer, the bureau's interim administrator-CEO, citing "lack of effectiveness and poor decision making."

September 15, 2005

Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted announces that the legislature will consider private operation of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

September 20, 2005
Attorney General Jim Petro, under an order from the Ohio Supreme Court, releases about 500 pages of state coin-fund records to The Toledo Blade that contain information that his office had previously withheld from the public.

September 30, 2005
Attorney General Jim Petro presents evidence alleging that Tom Noe used money from Ohio's rare-coin venture to buy his former Catawba Island home, landscape his property in the Florida Keys, and show an imaginary profit to the state. He calls it a "pure misappropriation of public funds."

October 13, 2005
Ohio State University's student government officially puts Trustee Brian Hicks, former Chief of Staff to Gov. Taft, on notice that they believe he must step down, labeling him an "embarrassment" to the school in light of his criminal conviction on an ethics violation in July.

October 27, 2005
Tom Noe is charged with illegally funneling $45,400 to President George W. Bush's re-election campaign.

November 1, 2005
Noe pleads not guilty to felony charges that he laundered money into President Bush's re-election campaign.

January 28, 2006
H. Douglas Talbott, former aide to Governor Taft, admits in documents filed with the Ohio Elections Commission that he improperly funneled campaign contributions from Thomas Noe to the Chief Justice and two other Supreme Court Justices.

February 9, 2006
The Ohio Elections Commission refers two former aides to Governor Taft for prosecution. H. Douglas Talbott faces charges based on a compaint that he funneled Noe campaign contributions to three Ohio Supreme Court Justices. Talbott also faces charges for taking a $39,000 loan and meals from Tom Noe and failing to disclose in his ethic statements. J. Douglas Moorman is referred to prosecutors because he failed to report a $5,000 loan from Noe.

February 10, 2006
Franklin County prosecutors file ethics charges against H. Douglas Talbott and J. Douglas Moorman.

February 13, 2006
Thomas Noe is indicted on 53 felonies including money laundering, theft, tampering with records and forgery.

March 5, 2006
Suspicion arises after the Columbus Dispatch reports that Terrence Gasper (Chief Financial Officer of the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation) may have written and circulated a list of brokers to whom state money was supposed to go. It is suggested that these brokers and BWC employees received kick-backs.

March 8, 2006
Noe requests to have all Lucas County judges disqualified from hearing his case. The Ohio Supreme Court denies his request.

March 12, 2006
Federal judge sets a May 31, 2006 date for Noe to change his not guilty plea (upon Noe's request).

March 25, 2006
The Noe's home in the Florida Keys is placed on the market with an estimated value of close to $5 million. Petro's office says they will seek the assets if the home is sold because Noe did not comply with an order requiring him to ask permission for selling any asset over $5,000.

April 1, 2006
The state of Ohio makes $1 million in an auction of coins and other materials bought by Noe with state money.

May 19, 2006
US Treasury Department closes its investigation into Noe's membership on the Coin Advisory Committee without finding any wrongdoing.

May 20, 2006
Noe requests that his trial on state charges be moved out of Lucas County.

June 5, 2006
Terrence Gasper, former CFO of the BWC, pleads guilty this week to corruption charges, and is named in a recent investigation detailing allegations of influence-peddling in New Hampshire's pension system.

June 26, 2006
Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Osowik refuses a public records request asking him to unseal documents in the criminal case against Tom Noe.

June 28, 2006
Lucas County Commissioner Maggie Thurber, Toledo City Councilwoman Betty Shultz, former Toledo Mayor and state Commerce Director Donna Owens and former State Representative and lobbyist Sally Perz plead guilty for failing to publicly disclose money they received from Noe. Each of these women acted as a conduit for Noe and contributed laundered money to President Bush. All were appointed to state boards by Governor Bob Taft and were required to report any gifts they received but, they did not. Each is fined $1,000.

June 30, 2006
A report released today reveals that investigators probing the widening Noe scandal found a check for $2,500 from Tom Noe to lobbyist Sally Perz dated May 10, 2002. That same day, Perz made a $2,500 contribution to Bob Taft's campaign. This suggests that Perz was a "conduit" to Taft's campaign, as well as to President Bush's. Charges were not brought against Perz because the special prosecutor was "satisfied with Ms. Perz being convicted of one misdemeanor offense."