McFaul agreed to pay $130,000 in restitution.
McFaul, 76, refused to comment when The Investigator Tom Meyer asked him what he had to say to voters who put him in office for 32 years, longer than any sheriff in Cuyahoga County history.
McFaul only raised an eyebrow when asked if he would at least apologize to taxpayers.
McFaul told the judge he was guilty of two felony counts of theft in office and one misdemeanor ethics charge. Prosecutor Jeff Lingo said they were prepared to prove the illegal activity was going on for at least 9 years.
The former sheriff pleaded guilty to forcing employees to sell tickets to his annual fundraiser on county time and to stealing money from his campaign fund.
"The evidence we have shows it was delivered to him or taken by him," Lingo said.
The case was assigned to Geauga County Common Pleas Judge Fred Inderlied because of McFaul's relationships with judges in Cuyahoga County.
Inderlied reminded McFaul he could still send him to prison for up to 10 years or he could place him on probation.
Inderleid set July 26 as the sentencing date, allowing enough time for McFaul to undergo a pre-sentence investigation.
McFaul had no comment when Meyer asked him if he should go to jail for his crimes.