Former Butler County Commissioner pleads guilty to public corruption
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -- The former Commissioner of Butler County pleaded guilty to corruption charges in United States District Court on Wednesday.
62-year-old Michael A. Fox pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and one count of filing a false income tax return. Robert C. Schuler, a Dublin, OH attorney also pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false income tax return.
Fox admitted to committing those acts of public corruption while he was a member of the Butler County Board of Commissioners. The crimes were a part of a scheme to benefit from an improper financial relationship between Fox and Schuler, involving a company of Schuler's that had a contract with Butler County.
According to a statement filed in the plea agreement, Fox accepted $460,000 in 2003 in what the government deems as a bribe or kickback from Schuler. At the time, Schuler's company, NORMAP, held a multi-million dollar contract with Butler County to install fiber optic communications network throughout the county.
Fox failed to disclose the $460,000 on his 2002 federal income tax return. Schuler failed to report $360,000 in business income on his 2002 federal income tax return.
In the terms of the plea agreement, Fox will have to pay restitution to the IRS in an amount to be decided by the court prior to sentencing. The agreement also contains an agreed- to sentence of four years in prison for Fox. Shuler's plea agreement includes a recommended sentence of between 12-and 18 months of home confinement and a fine of $50,000.
Senior U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith will schedule a date for sentencing.