AKRON -- Former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo must soon begin serving his federal prison sentence.
A hearing in Akron federal court on modifying his sentence ended Thursday morning with Judge Sara Lioi telling Russo that he must "self report" to the Loretto Federal Prison in Pennsylvania as soon as possible.
Russo's attorney, Roger Synenberg, said he expected his client would report to prison "in about 4 to 6 weeks." Synenberg said the prison itself need time to prepare for Russo's arrival.
Following the brief hearing in U.S. District Court in Akron, Russo left the building and told assembled reporters he would make a statement.
"I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to my family, to my co-workers, and each and every resident of Cuyahoga County," Russo said.
"I regret what I have done. I am really, truly sorry for what I've done, with my heart, but if you look back there is nothing I can do about it."
"But what I can do is make a difference in the future," the disgraced former politician continued. "I'm going to take a positive step forward to touch people's lives to make life better. Thank you very much."
As for the issue of reducing Russo's 22-year prison sentence, that decision will not be made until after Russo testifies at yet another trial in the Cuyahoga County corruption investigation.
A plea agreement between Russo and federal officials called for Russo's cooperation and testimony in the ongoing Cuyahoga County corruption investigation and trials.
In return, federal officials agreed they would not prosecute other Russo family members, except for his son Vince, who had already been indicted when the plea agreement was made.
Federal officials have informed the court that Russo's cooperation is substantially complete.