Friday, June 22, 2012

Mike Fox Goes to Prison

It is a sad day in Butler County, Ohio because former commissioner, state representative and Director of Children’s Services, Michael A. Fox, is finally surrendering himself to federal authorities at the prison he will be spending the next four years of his life.

This is the story of a man who pleaded guilty to commit mail and wire fraud in a scheme that netted him $460,000 for his assistance in securing a $1 million fiber optics deal with Butler County. He also has pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return. Part of his deal included dropping four charges of public corruption regarding alleged kickbacks he took from various companies for getting them county business.

But don’t worry about Mr. Fox. He isn’t. He is happy he is going to prison. He thinks of it as a fat farm where he will lose weight and have the taxpayer foot the bill. He is looking forward to reading books and writing music.

He has shown absolutely no remorse whatsoever for his crimes. He continues to put on the charade that he is a decent and honorable man who is everybody’s Mr. Fix It. Fixing is what got him in to trouble in the first place. It lead him down a path of a lifestyle he could not afford and placed him in the position of being vulnerable to everyone, including himself.

That is what makes all of this so sad for Butler County. Here is a guy who was on top of the world, but through his own misdeeds finds himself in the worst of situations and he can’t even manage to say that he is sorry for what he has done.

I have been writing about this story for years and I take no pleasure in today’s events. While this scandal has been an embarrassment for Butler County, it will soon be over. Let us hope that Mr. Fox’s colleagues and protégés learn the valuable lesson that he himself has not: Crime doesn’t pay but if you do the crime, you will, eventually, do the time.