Target: Randall J. Meyer, Inspector General of Ohio
Goal: Demand the report on the 2005 “Coingate” scandal be completed.
In 2005 several prominent Ohio Republicans, including then-Governor Bob Taft, were exposed breaking the law and the public’s trust when the “Coingate” scandal broke. The scandal revolved around Tom Noe, a coin dealer and major Republican Party fundraiser, who was awarded two $25 million investment contracts in 1998 and 2001 by the Ohio Worker’s Compensation Fund. Despite the fact that the Ohio General Assembly elected in 1996 to require the Ohio Government to only invest in bonds, Noe began almost immediately investing tax payer money in rare coins.
It would have gone unnoticed if Noe had not been stealing millions from the Fund and eventually the house of cards collapsed. The real scandal was that Noe was clearly in bed with Ohio Republicans, not only raising millions in funds for the GOP but paying for golf outings for Governor Taft, and vacations and meals for his staff; a clear ethics violation. Noe was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Taft became the first Ohio Governor ever convicted of a crime while in office after pleading no contest to four different ethics violations for which he paid a $4,000 fine.
Nearly eight years later, the office of Ohio Inspector General (an Ohio Government internal affairs watchdog and investigator) has not completed the investigation into Coingate. Since it went to such high levels of government, it seems that the investigation is being delayed for political reasons. We ask Inspector General Randall J. Meyer to complete this report on the scandal in an attempt to restore some faith to the people that government is still something we have at least a semblance of control over.
Dear Inspector General Meyer,
As any public official, I’m sure that you are quite busy. But the investigation into the “Coingate” scandal so obviously takes precedent over anything that your office would be responsible for, especially after the recent public outcry. The fact that the investigation has taken nearly eight years has raised the public’s suspicion that a report has not been given for political reasons. Since this scandal went so far up in Ohio state government, it seems that you would want to do everything in your power to assure the public that this is not some shadowy, wide-reaching conspiracy. Your actions show otherwise.
We ask you to finish this report on Coingate as you promised in February. It is important that it be done in a fair and objective manner and that all people involved are exposed and prosecuted if need be. By delaying the process, you yourself appear to be a part of a cover-up. If this is not the case, please finish this task and restore hope to the public.
[Your Name Here]