Cash No Longer Accepted At Sheriff’s Office

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The Athens County Sheriff’s Office is starting a new, cash-less system for accepting fees from citizens.

Wednesday Acting Interim Sheriff Rodney Smith announced that the office “will no longer accept cash for payment toward any of the offices’ programs,” according to a news release.

These programs include public records requests, concealed carry applications and renewals, background checks, real estate transactions and foreclosures and delinquent sales.

“It’s purely a procedural measure,” Smith said on Wednesday. “I think it will make everybody’s job easier.”

Credit cards and checks will continue to be accepted as well as money orders or cashier checks.

Smith declined to comment when asked whether the change stemmed from a report from Fiscal Officer Dawn Deputy that money has been missing from the concealed carry and background check funds since 2004.

In a recent interview with The Messenger, Deputy said more than $34,000 was missing from records since the concealed carry funds began in 2004. The missing money spans the administration of Sheriffs Vern Castle and Patrick Kelly, she said.

About $20,000 was missing from the concealed carry fund and more than $14,000 from the background checks fund have gone missing since 2004, according to Deputy.

The numbers were checked in October after BCI began issuing subpoenas for documents for an investigation into allegations of money laundering and theft in office that would soon make up the indictment against Kelly, The Messenger previously reported.

Kelly declined to comment on the numbers because there is a gag order in regard to his criminal case.