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DEMOCRATIC PARTY HEADQUARTERS Break-in results in loss of computer, BlackBerry



Published: Sat, July 2, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Investigators are unsure if the theft was politically motivated.

COLUMBUS (AP) -- A computer and BlackBerry belonging to Ohio Democratic Party chairman Denny White were stolen from party headquarters this week, police said.

It appears one or more burglars climbed a wall Monday and crawled through an unlocked second-story window, police said.

The break-in occurred a week after the Ohio Democratic Party began airing a 30-second TV ad that blames Republican officeholders for a scandal surrounding the state's $55 million investment in rare coins.

Attorneys for Toledo-area coin dealer Tom Noe, a prominent Republican Party fundraiser and donor who managed the investment, say up to $13 million is missing from the fund.

Unknown motive

Police said it was unclear if the theft had anything to do with politics or the investigations into failed investments at the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, including the coin fund.

"Until we find the person, there's no way of knowing that," police spokeswoman Sherry Mercurio said. Investigators lifted fingerprints at the scene, she said.

Jason Mauk, spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party, said the state GOP had nothing to do with the break-in.

"I certainly hope the implication is that this was not politically motivated," Mauk said. "I can guarantee from our perspective that this is not the case."




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