Noe faces up to 5 years in jail, lawyer wants service instead

TOLEDO – A Republican fundraiser who admitted to illegally donating $45,000 to President Bush’s re-election campaign should be sentenced to community service instead of prison time, his lawyer

said yesterday.

Tom Noe, who also is at the center of the state’s investment scandal, is to be sentenced next week in U.S. District Court for violating federal election laws.

He faces from 2 to 5 years in prison on three charges, including exceeding federal campaign contribution limits.

Prosecutors want Noe to serve at least two years in prison, but they indicated Tuesday they like more time added because Noe was involved in a “systematic and pervasive corruption of the federal and state election process.”

Noe’s lawyer Jon Richardson responded yesterday that Noe has been publicly humiliated and that probation and community service are a more appropriate punishment.

“Leniency is not just possible, it is appropriate,” Richardson said.

Noe admitted in May to arranging a contribution scheme to fulfill his promise to generate $50,000 for a Bush fundraiser in 2003.

Federal prosecutors said in October the campaign money-laundering scheme was the largest prosecuted under the 2002 campaign finance reform law, which set limits on donations.

Noe had used his political connections to win political appointments to state boards that oversee the Ohio Turnpike and Ohio’s public universities. He also was an official Bush-Cheney fundraiser.