COLUMBUS - Tom Noe has arrived at a federal prison camp in South Carolina, but his wife says he's been locked up in solitary confinement, a development that is upsetting her and her children.
Mike Truman, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Prisons, confirmed yesterday that Noe was transported April 25 to the Edgefield, S.C. prison, which is about 25 miles north of Augusta, Ga.
Noe, a former Toledo-area coin dealer, past chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party, and a Bush Pioneer for raising more than $100,000 for President Bush's re-election, is being held at the minimum-security camp, said prison spokesman Wayne Smith. He declined to release any other information about the criminal.
Bernadette Noe said she received a call from her husband on Friday and he told her that his classification apparently was being changed from minimum to low or medium-security.
"He said, 'I've got to talk fast. I'm getting moved. They told me they counted my points wrong in Texas. I'm not supposed to be here and I'm being put in the hole,'•" Ms. Noe said in a telephone interview last night from Florida, where she continues to live.
The federal prison system's office for classifying prisoners is located in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Ms. Noe said her husband told her that the points used to place him in a minimum-security area of a prison were being recalculated because of his conviction in state court. He said he probably would be sent to the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta but his final destination was unclear.
He did not explain why he was being placed in solitary confinement, Ms. Noe said. She said her husband said he was losing his phone privileges.
She said she had not heard from him since.
Mr. Smith, the Edgefield prison spokesman, said he could not confirm or deny Ms. Noe's account.
"There are certain things I can release without the inmate's consent, such as release date, date of birth, and what he was sentenced for, and where he was sentenced, those types of things," Mr. Smith said.
Earlier yesterday, the federal Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Marshals Service in Toledo said Noe is expected to serve the remainder of his term at the Edgefield prison.
"Unless he were to screw up or get badly injured or something, he will do his time there," said Steve Miller, supervisor of the Toledo office of the U.S. Marshals Service.
In September, 2006, Noe was sentenced in federal court to 27 months in prison for illegally funneling $45,000 into President Bush's re-election campaign.
In November, a Lucas County jury convicted Noe of stealing millions of dollars from the rare-coin funds he managed for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, and a judge sentenced him to 18 years in state prison. That time is to be served after his federal sentence is completed.
The Federal Correctional Institution in Edgefield, S.C., is the fifth lockup for Noe. He had been held since April 18 at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta after stints in the Lucas County jail, the federal prison in Milan, Mich., and the Grady County, Okla., Law Enforcement Center near Oklahoma City, which is the transfer point for federal inmates from across the nation.
Jon Richardson, the Toledo attorney who handled Noe's federal case, and Bill Wilkinson, Noe's Columbus attorney, couldn't be reached for comment.
The Bureau of Prisons lists his projected release date as Oct. 28, 2008.
Noe, 52, has filed a notice that he will appeal his state conviction. State prison officials have said that after Noe completes his federal sentence, he will be shipped to an Ohio prison to serve his 18-year sentence.
Ms. Noe last night asked people to keep her husband in their prayers, saying she and the Noe children didn't know if they could visit him in South Carolina.
"We're frantic," she said.
Contact James Drew at:
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