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Published: Thursday, 7/20/2006

McCloskey faces pair of sentencings tomorrow

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
McCloskey McCloskey
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Former Toledo Councilman Bob McCloskey will make appearances tomorrow in two courthouses for sentencing hearings on unrelated bribery convictions.

The first hearings will be at 11 a.m. in U.S. District Court, where McCloskey will be sentenced for the guilty pleas he entered in May on two counts of bribery.

Federal sentencing guidelines call for McCloskey to receive 27 to 33 months in prison from Judge David Katz.

McCloskey later will appear in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, where he will be sentenced by Judge James Bates on an unrelated bribery offense.

The punishment for that crime carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

McCloskey, 60, ended his 13-year career on council with a resignation that took effect May 2, just days before he entered into plea agreements in the two cases.

The federal conviction stems from two FBI stings in March and April in which the former Democratic councilman accept-ed $5,000 from a businessman who wanted assistance from the city on development projects.

The conviction in Common Pleas Court stems from a 2002 case in which McCloskey was accused of working for the defeat of a rezoning application because the applicants refused to set up a $100,000 prescription drug fund for Pilkington Plc retirees. McCloskey is one of those retirees.

Though he faces a mandatory federal prison sentence, McCloskey may not be taken into custody immediately. He could be allowed to report later to an as yet-to-be determined federal institution.

David Bauer, an assistant U.S. attorney, said McCloskey's lawyer could ask Judge Katz to delay imposing sentence and allow him to self-report to the prison chosen for his incarceration. "It depends on the case and on whether the judge will or will not allow that," Mr. Bauer said.

Mr. Bauer said the federal Bureau of Prisons' normal procedure is to institutionalize convicts at prisons near their homes. In McCloskey's case, that would be the federal prison in Milan, Mich. The only federal prison in Ohio is near Lisbon in Columbiana County.

Mr. Bauer also said Judge Katz could make a recommendation to the Bureau of Prisons for McCloskey's placement, but the recommendation would not be binding. He said it could take up to four weeks for the bureau to designate a prison for him.

McCloskey likely would be held in the detention facility at the Milan prison if Judge Katz orders the immediate imposition of sentence.

A sentencing recommendation was not provided by Lucas County prosecutors to Judge Bates when McCloskey entered a no-contest plea to and was found guilty of one of two bribery charges in Common Pleas Court.

Jay Feldstein, a Toledo attorney who represents McCloskey in both cases, declined to comment on any requests he would make in court at the hearings.

Contact Mark Reiter at:

markreiter@theblade.com

or 419-213-2134.



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