January 27, 2005: Headlines: COS - Tanzania: Politics: State Government: Drug Laws: Justice: Dayton Daily News: Governor Taft commutes Marijuana conviction

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Tanzania: Special Report: Ohio Governor Bob Taft, RPCV Tanzania: January 27, 2005: Headlines: COS - Tanzania: Politics: State Government: Drug Laws: Justice: Dayton Daily News: Governor Taft commutes Marijuana conviction

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-48-182.balt.east.verizon.net - on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 9:12 pm: Edit Post

Governor Taft commutes Marijuana conviction

Governor Taft commutes Marijuana conviction

Governor Taft commutes Marijuana conviction

Sentence cut for woman in pot case
Dayton restaurant owner serving time for hauling 335 pounds in motor home
[Most Popular][e-mail This][Print This]

By Rob Modic

Dayton Daily News

Gov. Bob Taft commuted half the mandatory eight-year prison sentence of a 60-year-old Dayton restaurant owner in a marijuana case stemming from 335 pounds of the drug recovered from her motor home in 1998.

The Ohio Parole Board had unanimously recommended cutting Carol Lee McGonegal's sentence further, to two years.

McGonegal's attorneys, John and Jon Paul Rion, immediately sought judicial release of McGonegal, who has served almost 21?2 years of the sentence imposed in 2000.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias H. Heck Jr.'s office said, "We were never notified by the governor, nor were we asked for any input into this matter."

In a statement, the office said McGonegal "moved to Dayton so that her boyfriend could set up his drug trade here. She admitted she had made eight to 10 trips to Arizona, assisting her boyfriend in bringing money or marijuana back to Dayton."

Taft commuted the sentences of three prisoners last year, a spokesman said. Of those, one was Rebecca Lynn Hopfer of Washington Twp., who served eight years of a sentence of 15 years to life in prison. Hopfer was convicted of murdering her newborn daughter in 1994.

McGonegal, who lived in Oakwood, was reached at the Ohio Correctional Medical Center, where she is recovering from a broken leg suffered during a fall in November.

She said, "It feels really good, and it can't happen fast enough. If it's four years, that's what I'll have to do, but if they can make it sooner."

McGonegal owned the What's Cookin restaurant at 454 Patterson Road. She said she had to give up the restaurant.

Acting on a tip in 1998, Dayton police obtained a search warrant and stopped McGonegal, then 53, as she was driving her motor home out of the Stop-N-Lock, 3636 Linden Ave.

The Rions contended that she did not own the marijuana and had been coerced by her boyfriend. The boyfriend and a third co-defendant, a woman, were prosecuted under federal charges, cooperated with prosecutors and were sentenced to five and 21?2 years in federal prison. Both have been released, McGonegal said.

McGonegal was convicted by a jury. Visiting Judge Ortho Eyster of Knox County agreed with the verdict, but objected to the mandatory sentence he was forced to impose by Ohio drug laws. Eyster also permitted McGonegal to remain free on an appeal bond. She entered prison in August 2002 after she exhausted her appeals.

"It has not been a bad experience," McGonegal said Wednesday. "My time was busy, a lot of community service, and I made a lot of good friends. I've grown as a person."

The Rions filed a petition for commutation from Taft, with the support of the U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Attorney's Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, Dayton Police Department and a regional drug task force.

A five-member board of the Ohio Parole Authority unanimously recommended reduction of her sentence to 21?2 years. There was no public hearing on the commutation case, Rion said.

McGonegal's commutation was signed Jan. 7, but did not arrive at the Rions' office until Wednesday, the attorneys said.

Contact Rob Modic at (937) 225-2282.

When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

January 22, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 22 2005 No: 391 January 22, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Spread Freedom but not at gunpoint 22 Jan
Dodd has ring side seat at Inauguration 21 Jan
Peace Corps works in Georgia 21 Jan
Trey Aven monitored Ukraine elections 21 Jan
RPCV group makes quiet indie-pop 21 Jan
Anthony Shriver considers race for Florida Governor 20 Jan
Thomas Tighe says internet brought funds to DRI 20 Jan
Stacy Jupiter researches Australia ecosystems 20 Jan
Libby Garvey is education activist 20 Jan
David McIntyre captures medals on land and in water 19 Jan
Carol Bellamy new president of World Learning 18 Jan
Reed Hastings crossed "Latino Caucus'' 18 Jan
RPCVs sponsor Freeze for Food to aid Colombia farmers 18 Jan
RPCVs urge Bush to aid Democracy in Ukraine 17 Jan
Tom Petri proposes changes in student loan program 17 Jan
Golden Globe Win for Jamie Foxx in RPCV's "Ray" 17 Jan
Stephen Smith is new consul-general in Australia 17 Jan

Ask Not Date: January 18 2005 No: 388 Ask Not
As our country prepares for the inauguration of a President, we remember one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and how his words inspired us. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.
RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid  Date: January 4 2005 No: 366 Latest: RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid
Peace Corps made an appeal last week to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps and more than 30 RPCVs have responded so far. RPCVs: Read what an RPCV-led NGO is doing about the crisis an how one RPCV is headed for Sri Lanka to help a nation he grew to love. Question: Is Crisis Corps going to send RPCVs to India, Indonesia and nine other countries that need help?
The World's Broken Promise to our Children Date: December 24 2004 No: 345 The World's Broken Promise to our Children
Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.
Changing of the Guard Date: December 15 2004 No: 330 Changing of the Guard
With Lloyd Pierson's departure, Marie Wheat has been named acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations responsible for the day-to-day management of the Peace Corps. Although Wheat is not an RPCV and has limited overseas experience, in her two years at the agency she has come to be respected as someone with good political skills who listens and delegates authority and we wish her the best in her new position.
Our debt to Bill Moyers Our debt to Bill Moyers
Former Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers leaves PBS next week to begin writing his memoir of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Read what Moyers says about journalism under fire, the value of a free press, and the yearning for democracy. "We have got to nurture the spirit of independent journalism in this country," he warns, "or we'll not save capitalism from its own excesses, and we'll not save democracy from its own inertia."
RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.
Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.
The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Dayton Daily News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Tanzania; Politics; State Government; Drug Laws; Justice



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.