Former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo to report to federal prison in December

AKRON, Ohio - Former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo will report to prison in December following a re-sentencing hearing Thursday morning in Akron.

The judge ruled that the decision to reduce his sentence will be postponed until after he testifies against Anthony Calabrese.

Russo's attorney said his client could head to prison even earlier than December, perhaps within two to three weeks.

Russo spoke for first time since corruption probe. He apologized to voters of Cuyahoga County for his actions. He said he regrets what he did and take positive steps forward to make life better. He also apologized to his family and co-workers.

Russo said he is sorry from his heart, during a brief statement outside the courthouse. He regrets what he has done and is very truly sorry.

Russo pleaded guilty to bribery in September 2010 and was sentenced to 262 months, or nearly 22 years, in prison. The ex-official has remained free, however, as part of his agreement to testify against others in the Cuyahoga County corruption investigation.

Court documents said Russo has a hearing in front of U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Lioi on Oct. 25. On Monday, a federal attorney asked that Lioi reduce Russo's sentence for his cooperation.

Earlier this month, a former top aide for Russo, Samir Mohammad, changed his plea to guilty on counts of conspiracy and extortion. Sources said that Mohammad's plea could finally result in the start of Russo's prison term.

Mohammed is the last of nearly 50 defendants to plead guilty or be convicted in the corruption probe.

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