WARREN - John ''JJ'' Cafaro, former vice president of the mall and property development firm, the Cafaro Co., faces a federal charge in connection to the 2004 U.S. congressional bid of his daughter and now state Sen. Capri Cafaro.
And according to his attorney, Cafaro, who's found himself in hot water with federal authorities before, will plead guilty to the charge that was filed on Monday.
Prosecutors say Cafaro caused an official with his daughter's congressional campaign to file a misleading Federal Elections Commission report incorrectly listing a contribution of only $2,000, when, in fact, Cafaro had contributed an additional $10,000 loan to the unnamed staffer for the campaign.
The false statement happened between May 5 and July 15, 2004, in a quarterly FEC report, documents show. Federal law allows a maximum contribution by an individual of $2,000, and candidates must report quarterly those who contribute more than $200.
The contribution was made in regard to Capri Cafaro's 2004 general election campaign for Ohio's 14th U.S. Congressional District seat, which she lost. Capri Cafaro, a Democrat, is a state senator in Ohio's 32nd district.
Cafaro, in an e-mailed statement through his attorney, Ralph E. Cascarilla of Cleveland, said he will accept responsibility.
''Although I wanted to help my daughter in her campaign, I made a mistake for which I am solely responsible,'' Cafaro said.
''As the investigation has determined, my daughter was not involved in any way. I sincerely regret any embarrassment or hardship I have caused my daughter and those who work with her. I am proud of her and what she was accomplished. Again, I take full responsibility for my actions and I apologize for my actions.''
Cascarilla said Cafaro acted without informing his family members, the Cafaro Co. or his daughter. Cafaro will plead guilty, and he will not answer media questions or further comment beyond the e-mailed statement, Cascarilla said.
A court date has not been set.
Capri Cafaro said she learned of the situation during the course of the investigation, but was unable to say exactly when she was contacted by investigators.
She said that the unnamed staffer was B.J. Schuerger, who managed her campaign and whom she met at the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Schuerger did not work on any other of her campaigns, she said.
A message seeking comment was left with Schuerger of Columbus.
Neither she nor her campaign will be charged, Capri Cafaro said, stressing she was unaware of her father's actions.
''My father made mistakes and has taken responsibility for them,'' said Cafaro, D-Hubbard. ''This is difficult for me because while he is my father and I care about him, I do not condone his actions. This is a regrettable situation which is thankfully coming to an end.''
She said she believes the situation won't affect her work in the Senate, where she is minority leader.
''I believe the people have had the chance to get to know me, know me for my values, my work ethic,'' she said.
U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Bainbridge, whom Capri Cafaro was challenging in the 2004 race, declined to comment on the charge.
In that 2004 election, LaTourette won easily, capturing 65 percent of the vote in a race that had Capri Cafaro using $1.7 million of her own money. Capri Cafaro's use of her personal wealth triggered the so-called millionaire's amendment in federal campaign finance laws, which allowed individuals to give LaTourette $6,000, triple the normal limit.
A statement released by the Cafaro Co. states the charge involves John Cafaro's personal activities and ''in no way involves the Cafaro Co. or any of its affiliated entities.''
Cafaro stepped down from his role as vice president of the Cafaro Co. at the beginning of this year.
In 2002, John Cafaro, was convicted of bribing former U.S. Congressman James A. Traficant in exchange for help in having the Federal Aviation Administration certify a laser guidance system marketed by the now-defunct U.S. Aerospace Group, of which Cafaro was part owner.
Cafaro was given a reduced sentence of 15 months probation because he helped the government prosecute Traficant.
Messages were also left with the Ohio Republican Party and Republican state Sen. Bill Harris, senate president.