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Published: Wednesday, 7/26/2006

U.S. judge sorts sentencing issue for McCloskey

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Bob McCloskey, left. Bob McCloskey, left.
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A federal judge yesterday addressed a sentencing mix-up that could have resulted in former Toledo Councilman Bob McCloskey going into the state prison system for one year.

U.S. District Judge David Katz in Toledo ordered McCloskey, who was convicted and sentenced on bribery charges in both federal and state courts, to be taken immediately into the custody of U.S. marshals.

According to Lucas County prosecutors, the ruling will remove the 60-year-old McCloskey from the county jail and allows the federal Bureau of Prisons to assign him to a federal correctional institution.

The former Democratic councilman was sentenced Friday morning by Judge Katz to 27 months in prison for taking $5,000 in bribes from a businessman who was cooperating with an FBI investigation.

Judge Katz, who recommended that McCloskey be sent to a camp at a federal prison in Ashland, Ky., ordered the sentence to be served concurrently with the sentence he received later that day in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

McCloskey was sentenced to one year in prison by Common Pleas Judge James Bates for an unrelated bribery conviction for a 2002 incident involving a request for a zoning change at the former Pilkington research building in East Toledo.

In his sentencing, however, Judge Bates ordered the East Toledo resident be taken immediately to the county jail, where he was to remain pending a future transfer to a federal prison.

Without yesterday s amended sentence order from Judge Katz, McCloskey would have been sent to the state correctional institution in Orient, Ohio, until he could be placed in another prison, said John Weglian, an assistant county prosecutor.

Mr. Weglian said the Bureau of Prisons would have refused to allow McCloskey to be taken into the federal prison system because of a technicality in the sentencing proceedings.

It was unclear last night whether McCloskey would remain in the county jail or be transferred to the nearest federal detention facility at the Milan, Mich., Correctional Institution.

He was still being held in the county jail last night.

A spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in Toledo would not comment on the judge s orders and referred questions to McCloskey s attorney, Jay Feldstein.

Mr. Feldstein said it would be inappropriate for him to comment on the judge s order or the status of his client s criminal case.

Seth Uram, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Toledo office, said he couldn t comment on yesterday s amended sentencing order.

I can t say anything until it is resolved, he said.

The transfer of McCloskey to a federal prison could take up to four weeks.

The camp in Kentucky where Judge Katz recommended that McCloskey be assigned is considered one of the best places in the nation to serve a prison term in rankings published by the former head of a national association for defense attorneys.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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