Athens Sheriff Bound To Secrecy In Office Probe

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UPDATE 4:20 p.m. Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly took to social media for a second time since state investigators served search warrants on his office and home on Friday, posting a statement that among other things defended his honor, disparaged a specific local media operation and commended the staff of his department.

In a posting on his personal Facebook page Kelly wrote, “Time to control the rumors: Patrick Kelly is still your sheriff and will be.”

In a post on the Facebook page of the Athens County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday Kelly said he wished he could share what was happening but was “bound by secrecy during these proceedings.”

Last week, a grand jury was convened at the request of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The Athens Messenger reported investigators would not discuss what was being presented to the grand jury but did confirm the attorney general’s office has been investigating allegations involving Kelly, including destruction of county records, state audit findings and an assault complaint. Kelly appeared before the grand jury last week for about 10 minutes.

In Monday’s Facebook posting, Kelly went on to write, “’Two people can be in the same place, see the same event and have two different opinions of what they saw.’ And I have always made this statement, ‘I would never use my office to attack or destroy another for personal or political reasons.’ I am at ease and at peace. I know everyone wants to know what is going on and you will eventually.”

Kelly also said he would have given consent to search his home and office and the warrants could have been executed “without the posturing.”

Kelly continued, “I am not posting this as a means to gain support, because those that believe will believe, whichever side they believe. I am posting this because you elected me and you have every right to know as much as I can say. That will come at a time after the grand jury.”

Earlier reports indicated the grand jury could meet for up to 10 days.

Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly says he has been bound to secrecy in an investigation involving his office.

In a Facebook post this weekend, Kelly said he wishes he could share information surrounding an investigation that included a search of his home and office Friday.

A spokesman with the Ohio Attorney General's office said the searches on Friday were related to allegations that had been brought against the Sheriff's office.

One such allegation centers around records missing from the Athens County Prosecutor's office. 

Records Prosecutor Keller Blackburn says were were disposed of by the Sheriff in a landfill.

Kelly said that was not the case. 

He said he has fully cooperated with the investigation into his office.