ATHENS -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said Athens County Sheriff Patrick Kelly, 63, of The Plains, has been indicted by a special grand jury on 25 counts, including 23 felony counts.
They are three counts of Theft in Office; 10 counts of Theft in Office; four counts of Theft; one count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity; one count of Money Laundering; one count of Tampering with Evidence; one count of Tampering with Records; one count of Perjury; one count of Failure to Keep Cashbook; and misdemeanor counts of Obstructing Official Business and dereliction of Duty.
Among things he is accused of are using public funds to pay for various meals that were not proper expenditures from the public account; used public funds to pay for personal apparel; stealing copper wire from the Athens County garage; and transferring a salvage title of a vehicle not properly forfeited or owned by the Athens County Sheriff's Office.
Within minutes of the indictments being announce Friday afternoon, Kelly responded to the indictment by posting on the Allen County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.
He said he would not step down as sheriff and maintained his innocence.
In part, he wrote:
"By now you have heard the grand jury has issued a twenty five count indictment against me.Thank you for all your calls of prayers and support.Truthfully, I am fine. Deb, not so. I will not step down as your sheriff and will continue with the same strong leadership and professionalism I have served you with for the past five years.I am surrounded by a very strong family, friends and have the support of my staff and employees.
The staff and employees Athens County Sheriffs Office have been instructed by me to continue with the same mission and vision of professionalism that I have demanded for the past five years.
Sadly,, the attorney Generals obsession with following a political agenda suggest that their leadership is not up to the kind of honest investigation and oversight that would lead to a clear and just assessment of the facts presented .
I have not committed or attempted to commit a criminal act nor have any of my employees.
After two years of accusations and suppositions in an attempt to overturn the results of this past election, in which which the majority of Athens a County voters cast their confidence in me, we will discuss this injustice in a court setting where the facts will be presented."