COLUMBUS, OHIO — The state Supreme Court on Wednesday publicly reprimanded outgoing Ohio Gov. Bob Taft for his ethics violations in office, a black mark that will stay on his permanent record as an attorney.
Taft, 64, a Republican and great-grandson of President William Howard Taft, pleaded no contest in 2005 to failing to report golf outings and other gifts worth nearly $6,000 during his four-year term. He was fined $4,000. Taft could not seek reelection because of term limits.
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel, an arm of the state Supreme Court, said in April that Taft violated Ohio's code of professional conduct for lawyers, and Taft later signed an agreement admitting the violation.
The justices agreed by a 6-0 vote with a recommendation from the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline to issue the public reprimand, which does not prevent Taft from practicing law but will appear in public law registries.
Taft's law license has been inactive since 2002.
"The governor is pleased that the matter is concluded and that the court recognized his reporting error was nothing more than an oversight," Taft spokesman Mark Rickel said.