Ohio elections chief: Panel wrong in sheriff case

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is criticizing the state Elections Commission for failing to penalize a former sheriff who used campaign coffers to pay court-ordered restitution for stealing cash from the fund.

The commission on Thursday told the Plain Dealer (http://bit.ly/H5AdgB) it would not immediately review last month's decision regarding former Cuyahoga County Sheriff Gerald McFaul. It has ordered its executive director to write an opinion.

Husted, a Republican, says using campaign funds for restitution is illegal and that allowing McFaul to do so sends a message that campaign finance laws are useless.

McFaul, a Democrat, was ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution in 2010 after pleading guilty to stealing campaign cash, forcing employees to sell fundraiser tickets and improperly appointing his son as a special deputy.

He resigned in 2009.

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Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com