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New conflict of interest concerns arise in state corruption case

As part of a two-year investigation by The (Toledo, Ohio) Blade into the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation and corruption in state government, James Drew and Steve Eder have discovered that a conflict of interest was not disclosed when in a five-year, $384,000 contract was given to the accounting firm of Ciuni & Panichi. The contract was granted by the Turnpike Commission despite the fact that Vince Panichi and his wife had an existing financial relationship with Tom Noe, the commission's chairman. Since then, Noe, a former Republican fund-raiser, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for his stealing from a rare-coin fund he managed for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

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