Convicted Sheriff Sued By County

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Athens County has filed a civil lawsuit against former sheriff Patrick Kelly to seek recovery of $85,406 in salary and benefits received by Kelly while he was under suspension.

Kelly was found guilty Feb. 12 in Athens County Common Pleas Court of 18 felonies, including 12 counts of theft in office. He was later sentenced to seven years in prison. As of early Wednesday morning, Kelly was awaiting transport to Lorain Correctional Institution in Grafton to start prison intake procedures. After that, he will likely be transported to a different prison facility.

While awaiting trial, Kelly was suspended on March 27 by a three-judge special commission appointed by Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. Kelly was entitled to continue to be paid, but the Ohio law under which he was suspended also allows the county to file a civil lawsuit to seek recovery of the compensation Kelly received until he was found guilty.

The $85,406 includes $58,363 in salary, $14,788 paid for medical insurance, $10,564 paid into the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System on Kelly’s behalf and county expenditures for Medicare and for dental, vision and life insurance.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Athens County Common Pleas Court by County Assistant Prosecutor Glenn Jones, also asks that Kelly be ordered to pay court costs for the civil lawsuit and attorney fees.

If the county is successful in getting the court to order reimbursement, then the question will become whether Kelly has the funds to satisfy the judgment.

It is known that Kelly is entitled to receive the money he contributed to PERS, but the amount has not been made public. During sentencing on the criminal convictions, Judge Patricia Cosgrove ordered that $3,936 in restitution to the county be deducted from the PERS money. The restitution is for $2,937 Kelly was convicted of stealing from the sale of county scrap and $999 in public funds spent for personal meals, according to the sentencing document signed by Cosgrove.