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Athens County Sheriff Indicted On 25 Charges

Reported: Jan. 31, 2014 2:28 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 31, 2014 11:15 PM EST
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ATHENS, Ohio (Bethany Simmons) - The sheriff of Athens County, Ohio, was indicted Friday on multiple charges, including theft, money laundering, tampering with evidence and perjury.

Sheriff Patrick Kelly, 63, of The Plains, has been indicted on 25 counts, including 23 felony counts:

* Three counts of theft in office, a fourth-degree felony
* Ten counts of theft in office, a fifth-degree felony
* Four counts of theft, a fifth-degree felony
* One count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony
* One count of money laundering, a third-degree felony
* One count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony
* One count of tampering with records, a third-degree felony
* One count of perjury, a third-degree felony
* One count of failure to keep cashbook, an unclassified felony
* One count of obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor
* One count of dereliction of duty, a second-degree misdemeanor

In a news conference Friday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine discussed new developments in the special grand jury investigation involving Kelly.

Dewine said Kelly was the only individual indicted Friday, but he could not comment on whether someone else will or will not be indicted in connection with the investigation.

"When any elected official is indicted, it's a sad day. This is a sad day for Athens County and a sad day for the state of Ohio," DeWine said.

The case will be handed over to the a grand jury in the coming days.

DeWine also announced that his office, as required by the revised state code that the Ohio Supreme Court initiate proceedings for “suspension of a local official charged with a felony related to official conduct.”

DeWine said as in any case, Kelly is presumed innocent until proven guilty and he will "have his day in court." In a post on his Facebook page, Kelly said he would not step down as sheriff.

In a statement, Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said the citizens of Athens County can "rest assured that the wheels of justice are continuing to move and criminal defendants are being held accountable. The Office of County Prosecutor will continue to work with law enforcement to ensure that justice prevails. The cloud of allegations have now resulted in formal charges, it is time for the rest of Athens County to move forward from these illegalities and heal the reputation of law enforcement. "

Blackburn said the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office will not be involved in the prosecution of Kelly and will continue to assist only if requested by the Attorney General’s Office. This office has maintained independence from the investigation and will not comment publically regarding Kelly until the conclusion of the criminal matter.

A copy of the indictment against Kelly can be viewed here.

- Sheriff Pat Kelly Facebook Photo.



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