Suspended Athens County Sheriff Wants Taylor, Not Smith In Interim Position

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Suspended Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly is once again taking to his personal Facebook page to express his frustrations. This time, he is attacking those who have made changes in the sheriff's office since he was suspended in March.

Kelly writes in his post that "in the past week, The Athens County Sheriffs Office has regressed 10 years. Changes in MY office have been made and more are planned and this should not be happening.

Here's the full post:


Kelly spoke with The Athens News for a story that was published Monday. The report states that Kelly has personally called members of the Democratic Party in Athens to endorse Det. Jack Taylor for the interim sheriff position while Kelly's criminal case continues. 

Lt. Rodney Smith is the active interim sheriff. The Democratic Party will pick an official interim sheriff on Tuesday night.

The report also disputes Kelly's claim of lowering drug overdose deaths by 80 percent, citing the Athens City-County Health Department.

More from the Athens News' story:

"Let me put it this way – the three commissioners knew who they were appointing (interim replacement sheriff) before that (March 27) meeting ever started," he alleged. He said Blackburn, Adkins and Chmiel were "courting" Smith for the job "for quite some time."

As for the NET, he said, "Blackburn has tried to get a (multi-county) task force in this county… He's tried to undermine our task force for quite some time."

Regarding Smith, Kelly said, "I like Rodney, but Rodney is not the person to sit in that office until October."

Regarding the alleged machinations to both do away with the NET and keep Smith in the office, Kelly said, "I think people know that Keller Blackburn is behind this, and he's not a well-liked prosecutor. And I think that people are going to see through this.

Kelly told the News that Taylor has the full support of all the employees in the sheriff's office and will not make any changes while Kelly is away. Kelly plans to return to his position in October, which means he expects to win his court case and get his job back.