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(***NOTE*** The CIWS discusses Canadian provincial
conflicts of interest regarding WCB at
Ex-Ohio Workers Comp Exec Sentenced
The former chief financial officer of the Ohio
workers compensation agency was sentenced Wednesday to more than five
years in federal prison for accepting bribes in an investment scandal widely
blamed for state Republican losses in last years election.
The former chief financial officer of the Ohio workers
compensation agency was sentenced Wednesday to more than five years in federal
prison for accepting bribes in an investment scandal widely blamed for state
Republican losses in last years election.
Terrence Gasper, 60, pleaded guilty last June to accepting
the bribes to dole out millions of dollars in agency investment business. He
got less than the maximum 20-year sentence because he testified against
Gasper apologized to his children and said in court that he
never intended to commit a crime.
"I never solicited or requested anything from anyone. My
boneheaded criminal decisions lie in accepting what was offered to me," Gasper
He praised the majority of employees at the Bureau of
Workers Compensation but criticized a small group of political appointees
as having an agenda that he said got in the way of the bureaus
Gasper described an "overwhelming politicization" of the
Under an agreement with prosecutors and defense attorneys,
Gasper was fined $60,405, the value of his stays at a Florida condominium and
other bribes he received in exchange for providing agency business.
Prosecutors initially wanted Gasper to pay restitution of
more than $13 million _ the amount the state lost in investments in rare coins
and collectibles handled by coin dealer Tom Noe.
The scandal at the bureau started with Noe, who is serving
18 years in prison for stealing from the $50 million rare-coin investment he
managed. Gasper said he received $25,000 from Noe as a bribe in return for
More than $300 million in losses were reported at the
bureau, and the investigation reached all the way to former Gov. Bob Taft, who
pleaded no contest to failing to report golf outings and other gifts on his
disclosure forms. Taft was fined $4,000.
In the wake of the scandal, Democrats won the
governors mansion, a U.S. Senate seat and three other key statewide
offices after 12 years of Republican rule.
Later Wednesday in Columbus, Gasper was sentenced on similar
state charges to five years in prison that he will serve at the same time as
the federal sentence.
As part of a plea agreement with state prosecutors, Gasper
was also ordered to forfeit $1,000 to the workers comp bureau.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
" . . . questions remain about how politics influenced the
bureau's investment practices. "While Mr. Gasper acknowledged in court what
many of us have known all along, that the BWC became a
veritable ATM machine that was used by Republican political appointees to
reward campaign contributors , we still don't know who was pulling the
strings," he said."
(***NOTE*** The CIWS
discusses Canadian provincial conflicts of interest regarding WCB at
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