- Associated Press - Saturday, December 26, 2015

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) - A former state lawmaker and longtime southwestern Ohio politician is calling his time behind bars humbling.

Michael Fox He was released to home confinement last summer and spent the remainder of his sentence at his Oxford home. He will now be on probation for three years.

The longest serving state lawmaker in Butler County history was indicted in 2009 on charges he improperly benefited from a nearly $3 million contract with a fiber optics firm. He pleaded guilty in March 2011 to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and filing a false tax return and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Fox, a Hamilton native, tells the Dayton Daily News (https://bit.ly/1lMYpgE) that prison changed him both physically- he lost 100 pounds and then gained back 40 -and emotionally.

His incarceration was the result of what he called his strengths and weaknesses, he said, including political acumen, poor personal financial management and political ego, colliding in a “horrible crash.”

Prison is designed to break a person down, similar to the military, but leaves prisoners broken with no ability or incentive to reform, Fox said.

“It’s a criminal factory,” said Fox. “It creates criminals.”

Fox said he was forced to slow down and now enjoys the slow-paced life he never appreciated as a public servant. He’s working on a book from an insider’s perspective on government and “how it really works.”

“Most people believe that government doesn’t work, but they’re wrong,” he said. “The problem is it doesn’t work for them, the regular Joes.”

The Hamilton native said he has gained a renewed appreciation for his friends and family.


Information from: Dayton Daily News, https://www.daytondailynews.com

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