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Published: Thursday, 11/23/2006

Noe begins his transfer to federal prison system

A handcuffed Tom Noe is led into court for his sentencing. A handcuffed Tom Noe is led into court for his sentencing.

Tom Noe is now known as inmate No. 26157-018, a resident of the federal detention center in Milan, Mich.

After being transferred from the Lucas County jail to the Milan prison, he is expected to spend up to eight weeks at the lockup 30 miles north of Toledo until the federal Bureau of Prisons determines where he will serve the bulk of his 27-month sentence for laundering $45,400 in contributions to President Bush's re-election campaign.

In total, Noe has been sentenced to 20 years in federal and state prison.

Mike Truman, a spokesman for the prison bureau, said yesterday that an inmate's routine varies by site and situation, but prisoners are typically housed in dorm or cell settings.

At first, inmates typically go through an admission and orientation process to become accustomed to the prison.

They are often given jobs in the prison - like scrubbing pots and pans, raking leaves, buffing floors, or cleaning toilets. They also usually have access to TV or recreation rooms.

"There is accountability at all times - the inmate has to be where he is programmed to be," Mr. Truman said.

Milan officials yesterday wouldn't answer any questions about Noe's living conditions, his daily routine, or whether he is sharing a cell.

"He is temporarily housed here at the federal detention center in Milan," said T.K. Cozza-Rhodes, a spokesman and acting associate warden at the Milan prison. "That's pretty much all I can share with you."

Milan, an all-male low-security detention center, will be Noe's first prolonged stop in his two-decade imprisonment that could include four lockups.

Authorities are expected to determine the appropriate prison for Noe to serve the bulk of his federal sentence. He could be sent to a lockup in Florida, where his family lives.

On Monday, Noe was sentenced by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Osowik to 18 years in state prison after a jury last week found him guilty of stealing more than $1 million from rare-coin funds he managed for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

The state sentence also covers Noe's conviction for engaging in a pattern of corruption, money laundering, and forgery in the coin-fund scandal.

He'll serve that sentence in a yet-to-be-determined state prison in Ohio after he completes his federal sentence.

He was transferred to the Milan federal prison Tuesday.

Contact Steve Eder at: seder@theblade.com or 419-724-6272.

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