Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Voinovich won't return suspect donations

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - U.S. Sen. George Voinovich will not give up $85,000 in contributions he received while he was Ohio's governor from a donor who is now in prison.

Larry Rogers - co-founder and former president of the defunct PIE Mutual Insurance Co. of Cleveland - last year agreed to pay restitution of $6.8 million as part of an agreement in which he pleaded guilty to charges that included using PIE funds for illegal political contributions to 75 politicians from 1990 to '97.

In July 2002, Voinovich returned $15,450 he received from PIE for his 1998 Senate campaign.

But the $85,000 donation went to Voinovich's gubernatorial campaign committee, which no longer exists. Voinovich therefore has no obligation to return it, spokesman Scott Milburn said.

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