Ohio Supreme Court Justice O’Connor Has Appointed Three Judges To Consider Suspending Sheriff Kelly

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Ohio Supreme Court Justice Maureen O'Connor has appointed the judges who will consider suspending Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly while criminal charges are pending against him.

Avccording to the Columbus Dispatch, Chief Justice O'Connor appointed retired Common Pleas Court Judges Neal Bronson of Warren County, Jennifer Sargus of Belmont County, and John Bender of Franklin County to hear the suspension request filed by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Kelly, a 63-year-old Democrat re-elected to his second term in 2012, has pleaded not guilty to a 25-count indictment that charges him with running an organized-crime scheme from his office.

Conviction on the most-serious charge, the first-degree felony of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, carries a maximum penalty of 11 years in prison.

State law allows for the provisional paid suspension of an elected official charged with a felony if it's determined that the charge relates to administering the official's duties.

The judges have 14 days to make a preliminary determination on suspending Kelly. If they determine he should be suspended, Kelly has 14 days to contest it and present his position at a hearing. The judges would then make their final determination.