[JURIST] Governor Bob Taft (R-OH) [official website] Wednesday received a public reprimand [text, PDF; press release] from the Ohio Supreme Court [official website] for ethics violations stemming from charges [JURIST report] that he received over 50 gifts worth up to $6,000 during four years in office. The reprimand will be a permanent mark on his record as an attorney, but while the justices had the option of issuing a stronger punishment in their 6-0 opinion, they cited Taft's previously clean record as a lawyer and otherwise unblemished record in public office.
In 2005, Taft pleaded no contest [JURIST report] and was fined for the original charges, however in April of this year a disciplinary action was initiated [JURIST report] by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel [official website], part of the Ohio Supreme Court tasked with monitoring lawyer behavior. That office determined that Taft had violated the Ohio Code of Professional Responsibility [text] by accepting the gifts. Taft did not seek re-election due to term limits, and is leaving office in less than 2 weeks. He has said that he would be more interested in teaching than in returning to practicing law. AP has more.