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Funeral Service Held for Long-Time Ohio Congressman Mike Oxley of Findley

Funeral services for long-time Ohio Congressman Mike Oxley are held in Virginia.

Funeral services are planned today for long-time Ohio Congressman Mike Oxley.

The northwest Ohio Republican rose to lead the important House Financial Services Committee during his 25-year congressional career. He went on to work at the Washington office of the law firm BakerHostetler in its Government Policy division.

Long-time friend and Baker's Managing Partner of BakerHostetler's Washington, D. C. office,  Jeff Paravano says Oxley was liked by all who knew him.

"Mike Oxley was an incredible talent. he was so bright, so caring, so optimistic about what the world could be. He always smiled whether he was delivering good news or bad news, he always led with a caring smile. He was one of the few people I knew of that could deliver bad news and people would feel better after hearing it because it came from Mike,"  Paravano said.

Funeral services for Mike Oxley were held today in Virginia. Oxley died January 1 at the age of 71 of cancer.

Transcript of interview with Jeffrey Paravano.

Jeffrey Paravano: Mike was in Congress for a long time. He served in the house for 25 years. Six of those years, he was chairman of the House Financial Services Committee that committee had jurisdiction over banking, insurance, securities and exchanges, housing and even monetary issues.

Probably his most significant accomplishment was passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. That was one of the most important corporate governance acts in our history. Mike was viewed as and was a moderating force that pushed for reforms that were needed to restore confidence in the capital markets, but he was careful not to over-regulate or impose burdens that were costly to businesses but likely to be unhelpful to investors.

Marilyn Smith: What was the Sarbanes-Oxley Act?

JP: It was mostly about disclosure. I think they was a view that certain companies were not disclosing sufficient information, we're not disclosing accurate information, and frankly there was a concern that their auditors were not sufficiently independence or diligence in many cases and Arthur Andersen of course comes to mind.

MS: Now it did create some controversy and eventually was reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. What was the outcome of that?

JP: The Supreme Court ruled as Mike asked them to in an amicus brief that Sarbanes Oxley Act didn't apply to a case where a fisherman threw some fish out of his boat. There was some broad language that seemingly could apply to such a situation where someone destroyed evidence that they may have overfished. But Mike's view as that the act wasn't intended to apply in that way, and the Supreme Court did a very modest adjustment to the act to make clear that the acts' reach was not intended to to go to such things.

MS: From what I've read he was often known as Ox, he seemed to be very amiable, people really liked him.

JP: Yeah Mike Oxley was an incredible talent. So bright, so caring, so optimistic about what the world could be and he always smiled. Whether he was delivering good news or bad news he always led with the caring smile. He was one of the few people I knew of that could deliver bad news and people would feel better after hearing it because it came from Mike. He also managed the Republicans during the annual Congressional Baseball game for charity. Successfully raising a lot of money and apparently he was an avid golfer.

MS: Was he very competitive?

JP: Mike was extremely competitive, on the softball field, the baseball field and on the golf course. We verified I think six holes in one, which he was very proud of. He didn't always win on the golf course, but he always had a great time and he was always very fun loving, very competitive.

MS: Everything that I've read all of the kudo's that have come in, everybody seems to be in agreement that he was a great guy who got things done. Would he have been as successful now as he was then?

JP: I think so. His experience was in the areas of lobbying, corporate governance and corporate compliance and he was wonderful with his clients. He understood that while they may have come to BakerHostetler in part because of Mike Oxley that what they wanted with the strong, deep resilient service team and solutions that work for them and I think he knew the same about his constituents in Congress. That you know they may have voted one way or another but, everyone wanted solutions that worked for them and he was able to get that done.

He was the kind of leader that could reach across the aisle while he was in Congress and then even after he left Congress and came to Baker there were many, many clients that asked him to approach Democrats and to be a liaison between them and certain Democrats and they would go to Mike even though we had other folks in our office who had a Democratic background or or ties. They just knew how much people loved Mike and how willing they were to listen to him and to work with them.

MS: Do you think they'll ever be another Mike Oxley?

JP: No. Mike was cut from his own cloth will miss him greatly. We loved him dearly. Unfortunately there are never be another Mike Oxley.