(Yi-Ke Peng/WOUB)

Settlement On The Way In Pat Kelly Salary Suit

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ATHENS — The county has reached a settlement with a former sheriff in regards to pay given to him as he stood trial for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Patrick Kelly, in a 2017 photo from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

The Athens County Commissioners announced a settlement deal with Pat Kelly that would bring the county $8,700, and avoid going into litigation in the lawsuit, according to Commissioner Lenny Eliason.

The county was seeking more than $85,000 in compensation given to Kelly between the time he was suspended in 2014 because of the charges against him and the time he was found guilty. The compensation includes a salary of $58,363 and $10,564 in retirement benefits paid on Kelly’s behalf by the county, according to court documents. Medicare and county insurance payments were also included.

This settlement, while not ideal for the county, allows the county to receive more money than they think they’ll get in court.

“If we kept going, bankruptcy…would be involved,” Eliason said, referring to Kelly’s financial situation.

If bankruptcy was involved, the county worried any significant settlement would be erased.

The lawsuit was filed in 2015, right after Kelly was convicted by an Athens County jury of 18 counts, including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and 12 counts of theft in office. He was sentenced to seven years in prison, and has exhausted all but one appeal. His final appeal is awaiting decision by the Southern District of Ohio U.S. District Court.

The settlement was unanimously approved by the county commissioners, and is now going to Kelly’s attorney for signature.

Kelly is being housed in the Franklin Medical Center of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. His release date is set for 2022.