Details Of Criminal Charges Against Pat Kelly Released

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The charges that led to the allegation that suspended Athens County Sheriff Patrick Kelly engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity were laid out by his prosecutors in a document filed Monday.

A bill of particulars, which officially specifies the details of allegations against Kelly, was filed in Athens County Common Pleas Court. All of the 25 counts with which Kelly is charged are explained, including amounts of money allegedly stolen while he was in office, time periods for offenses and the length of the investigation conducted by the Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI).

"By committing these offenses during the time in question, the defendant established a pattern of using his campaign and his elected office as sheriff for Athens County, to steal money and property that belonged to Athens County and/or a campaign fund for his personal use, to destroy records, to impede the investigation of BCI, and to give concealed carry permits to friends without running the proper background check," the document stated.

The bill of particulars was filed by James C. Roberts and Melissa A. Schiffel, special assistant prosecuting attorneys in the case.

The first eight counts of the case, all theft charges, alleged that Kelly took "various items and property," which belonged to the county from the county garage or other county facilities, to McKee's scrapyard and sold the items, according to the court document.

"(Kelly), without consent, and/or beyond any consent given to him to possess the property, sold property to McKee's and received money in return," the attorneys allege.
The money from the items was never deposited into any county bank account or fund, they claim, and was "never accounted for."

Total cash received from the property was allegedly more than $2,000.

In other theft counts explained in the document, Kelly is charged with allegedly taking more than $1,000 but less than $7,500 from the sheriff's office cashbox in his capacity as the sheriff.

"There is no accurate accounting for the amount of money taken by the (Kelly) and (he) did not follow his own office policy and procedures for using such money," the attorneys wrote.

Kelly is also charged with using funds to pay for personal meals as sheriff and using political campaign funds for personal use and holding a spaghetti fundraiser but never depositing the money raised from it into a campaign fund.

Another charge involving campaign funds alleges that Kelly told campaign donors "who did not want to be affiliated with (his) political campaign" to give cash to Kelly's campaign manager, Clinton Stanley, who then deposited the money into his own account.

"(Kelly) told Clinton Stanley to write the check to (Kelly) personally," the documents allege. "The check was cashed and never accounted for."

The value of the campaign donations was less than $1,000, according to the prosecutors.

Stanley is not charged with any wrongdoing in the case.

Also in regards to his campaign finances, Kelly allegedly "used his position as a candidate running for office and subsequently his position as Athens County Sheriff to funnel money through his campaign" and his campaign manager's bank account.

Also using his official capacity as sheriff, prosecutors allege that Kelly approved two concealed carry licenses without running a proper background check. Although the two individuals were not identified, the court document identifies one as J.F. who "was dating the defendant's stepson" and R.W., who "admitted to being good friends" with Kelly, according to prosecutors.

Following a June 2013 search warrant of Kelly's home in which electronic devices and computers were searched, the Athens County Sheriff's Office was served with a subpoena "for all records pertaining to expenditures related to confidential informant," the bill of particulars stated.

Kelly complied with the subpoena in September 2013, but when another search warrant was conducted in December 2013 and computers were reexamined, investigators found that the documents given to them in September were allegedly "inconsistent with the records found" on the computer during the first search.

The inconsistency led to the prosecutor alleging that Kelly falsified records "and/or uttered this records at the September…hearing in order to mislead the state's investigation and to avoid prosecution for the theft of cash funds…" that the sheriff said he used to pay confidential informants.

The prosecution also alleged that Kelly failed to give investigators documents pertaining to a confidential informant when subpoenaed to do so in August of 2013. The document had been gathered during the first search warrant in September of that year, according to the court document.

Kelly also allegedly failed to produce documents or records "maintained by his deputies to account for the use of money to pay for confidential informants," however the prosecution has since obtained the documentation.

The state filed another count against Kelly which alleged that on or about May 8, 2013 through May 14, 2013, Kelly took public records from the Athens County Fairgrounds and destroyed them.

"BCI had been investigating the defendant for several months prior to this," the attorneys stated in the court document. "More than nine tons of records were taken to the landfill by (Kelly)."

The action was taken, prosecutors alleged, "with a purpose to prevent, obstruct or delay BCI's investigation," the document stated.

The bill of particulars claims that from April 14, 2009, to May 13, 2013, when Kelly was elected to office, he was required to keep a "cashbook," which he allegedly failed to do.

In the charge alleging that Kelly failed to keep a cashbook, the prosecutors mentioned the money allegedly received from the sale of property at McKee's as unaccounted for.

Investigators searched for a cashbook on the sheriff's office premises, but did not find one, court documents stated.

"However, after the defendant was indicted, a cashbook (not relevant to these charges) was found by the defendant and an employee," the document stated. "Two individuals who were involved in locating the cashbook have described the entire situation as though they were 'set up.'"

Kelly declined to comment on the bill of particulars because of a gag order that was placed upon him by Judge Patricia Cosgrove, who was chosen to oversee his January trial.

In past interviews with The Messenger, however, Kelly denied that he did not keep a cashbook, instead saying the cashbook was kept on the computer rather than in paper form.

"We live in the 21st century and we use computers," Kelly said previously.

Kelly has also pleaded innocent to all the charges