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Published: Thursday, 2/9/2006

Senate reappoints Carroll to oversight panel


COLUMBUS - Mary Beth Carroll won unanimous confirmation of the state Senate yesterday for a second three-year term on the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Oversight Commission.

Without debate, the chamber confirmed Gov. Bob Taft's October reappointment of the FirstEnergy Corp. vice president as the commissioner representing roughly 1,100 self-insured businesses in the state.

The Senate Insurance, Commerce, and Labor Committee held a rare confirmation hearing Tuesday at the request of Democrats, who ultimately went along with the Republican majority to support her reappointment.

Ms. Carroll, a former Sandusky city commissioner now living in Akron, was first appointed to the commission in 2002 by Mr. Taft to complete an unexpired term.

The Blade revealed last year that BWC invested $50 million in rare-coin funds operated by former GOP fund-raiser Tom Noe and lost $215 million in a risky offshore hedge fund managed by Pittsburgh-based MDL Capital Management.

"As I look back, it's clear that, as a body, the oversight commission focused on rules and policies," she said during the hearing.

"We took those seriously. We vetted and implemented numerous improvements. That was a good focus, although in retrospect it was too narrow," she said.

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