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Published: Thursday, 6/11/2009

George Forbes sanctioned by Ohio Supreme Court for role in BWC scandal

Forbes Forbes

COLUMBUS The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday sanctioned George Forbes for his convictions stemming from the scandal at the Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation but suspended enforcement of the punishment if the Cleveland lawyer stays out of trouble.

Forbes will have his law license suspended for six months if he commits future misconduct.

He was convicted in 2007 on four counts of filing false financial disclosure statements and two counts of conflict of interest for accepting gifts from two investment brokers doing or seeking to do business with the BWC. All of the offenses were misdemeanors.

In the criminal case, a judge sentenced Forbes to a year of probation, $12,000 in fines and restitution, and 60 hours of community service. He completed the sentence and his probation was terminated.

The state Office of Disciplinary Counsel later investigated Forbes for professional misconduct. The Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline heard the case and recommended a public reprimand.

But a majority of the Supreme Court justices felt a public reprimand was not sufficient and ordered the stricter punishment.

Then-Ohio Gov. Bob Taft received a public reprimand after his conviction on four misdemeanor counts of filing false financial-disclosure statements. The Supreme Court ruled that Forbes' transgressions were worse.

Forbes served on the BWC's investment committee from 1995 to 2005.

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