Noe Appears in Court Again

Noe, seen in an earlier court appearance.
Noe, seen in an earlier court appearance.

TOLEDO (AP) -- Lawyers for Tom Noe, the former rare-coin dealer at the center of the state's investment scandal, asked a judge on Thursday to throw out evidence seized during a raid of his coin business. Noe's lawyers also want Lucas County Judge Thomas Osowik to dismiss and consolidate some of the charges against him.

Noe, a major GOP fundraiser, has pleaded not guilty to theft, forgery, money laundering, and racketeering charges related to a $50 million dollar investment in rare coins he managed for the state. The 53-count indictment accuses Noe of stealing at least $1 million.

Noe attorney John Mitchell is seeking to prove that authorities had no evidence that Noe did anything wrong at the time they sought a search warrant for his business. Authorities took coins, autographs, art work and other collectibles in the May 2005 raid.

Noe's attorneys contended that investigators obtained the search warrant by using misleading information.

Howard Hudson, a former investigator with the State Highway Patrol, testified he did not try to mislead anyone or embellish any information while seeking the search warrant. Hudson said that at the time he did not have evidence that Noe did anything illegal, but he also said that he considered some of his activity to be suspicious.

More witnesses are expected to testify Friday as the hearing continues.

Noe's lawyers also asked that 11 theft counts be condensed into one. No decision was issued on that request either.

Osowik did deny a prosecution motion asking to quash a defense request for e-mails from the workers' compensation bureau regarding Noe.

Noe's trial is set to begin on October 10, just four weeks before the November elections.

The scandal has led to ethics charges against Republican Gov. Bob Taft, who pleaded no contest for failing to report gifts such as golf outings. It also has led to the ouster of the bureau's administrator, the firing of its chief investment officer, and an overhaul of the fund's investment operations.

Democrats hope the scandal will help them in the statewide elections this fall.

Updated by PJS