COLUMBUS, OHIO — Gov. Bob Taft was charged with four ethics violations Wednesday for failing to report dozens of gifts that included dinners, golf games and professional hockey tickets, deepening a scandal that has rocked Ohio's Republican Party.
Taft, a Republican and member of a distinguished U.S. political family, becomes the first governor in Ohio history to be charged with a crime. The charges are also an embarrassment for a politician who has pushed for high ethical standards in his office.
Taft, could be fined $1,000 and sentenced to six months in jail on each count if convicted, though time behind bars was considered unlikely.
Taft will respond publicly today and is not planning to resign, spokesman Mark Rickel said. Prosecutors said they expected the governor to appear in court today but declined to say whether a plea agreement was in the works.