Law & Order: Former Cuyahoga County Sheriff Pleads Not Guilty to Criminal Charges

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UPDATE: CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Former Cuyahoga County Sheriff Gerald McFaul is now finding himself on the other side of the law.

McFaul pleaded not guilty to two counts of Theft in Office and an Ethics Violation in court on Tuesday.

The former iron worker and iron-fisted Sheriff needed a helping hand as he got out of his car to go to his arraignment. He used a cane and appeared feeble. McFaul and his legal representation refused to say anything other than the proceeding would speak for itself.

A long, hard fall for the man who ran the place for more than three decades.

"No one can be satisfied with a man like Gerald T. McFaul with his exemplary record as a Sheriff and a public officials has now had to accept responsibility for his act which he has done," said Attorney John Climaco.

Here's what will happen. Tuesday's plea of not guilty was a formality, as you can't plead guilty in the arraignment room. So the case will move to Judge Michael P. Donnelly's courtroom on Thursday morning where McFaul will plead guilty. Since he was charged by information, that means his attorneys and prosecutors have a deal cut. Anywhere from probation to 10 years is possible.

McFaul resigned after the State Bureau of Criminal Investigation started looking into his hiring and fundraising practices. He's accused of forcing employees to take part in fundraiser's to keep their jobs and more.

Citing health reasons, McFaul announced his retirement in March of last year after serving the county for more than 30 years.

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