Former Meigs Co. Sheriff’s Secretary Enters Plea

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The former Meigs County Sheriff’s Office’s secretary accused of taking money from the office entered an Alford plea to a lesser charge on Monday.

Mary Kimes, 46, of Middleport, entered an Alford plea to one amended charge of theft, a fifth degree felony. An Alford plea is a guilty plea in the eyes of the court, but by making the Alford plea Kimes does not admit any wrongdoing.

Kimes was originally indicted on eight counts of theft in office, felonies of the third degree. She could have faced up to 40 years in prison.

By pleading to the single theft charge, Kimes faces up to one year in prison when she is sentenced on May 15. The sentencing hearing is scheduled two years to the day of when the charges against Kimes were initially filed.

According to the plea agreement, the prosecution and defense are both expected to ask for community control at the sentencing hearing.

She will also pay restitution in the amount of $2,500, the amount not covered by insurance of what she is alleged to have taken from the sheriff’s office. According to court records, Kimes is alleged to have stolen $76,854.

A pre-sentencing investigation was ordered by the court to be completed before the sentencing hearing.

Kimes served as secretary for two prior Meigs County sheriffs, but had left the position prior to current Sheriff Keith Wood beginning his term as sheriff.

A re-trial in the case had been scheduled for this week.

Kimes faced trial the first time in July of 2014, but a jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on any of the eight counts resulting in a hung jury.

A jury that sat through a week-long trial took two days to impanel because the court did not have enough citizens to fill the jury box, according to previous Messenger reporting.

The Attorney General’s Office, who has handled the case, would not comment on the plea agreement until after sentencing.

Kimes remains free on her own recognizance.