Sheriff's Office Probe Looks At Concealed Carry Permits

By
Steve Robb- Athens Messenger staff journalist

Dateline
Updated Thu, Jan 23, 2014 9:59 am

It appears that an Ohio Attorney General Office investigation has expanded to include matters relating to the handgun concealed carry permit program at the Athens County Sheriff’s Office.

Records relating to the program were reportedly subpoenaed from the sheriff’s office as part of a grand jury that has been meeting in Athens at the behest of the attorney general’s office.

The grand jury, which has met on several occasions since June, is believed to considering matters relating to Sheriff Patrick Kelly.

Assistant Attorney General James Roberts, who was at the Athens County Courthouse for Wednesday’s meeting of the grand jury, would not comment on whether the panel is considering matters related to the concealed carry permit program or if the program has been under investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.

One of the people appearing before the grand jury on Wednesday was Chris McCauley, a sheriff’s office employee who processes concealed carry permit applications.

Also appearing before the panel Wednesday was Brynne Morris, who works in records at the sheriff’s office but previously processed concealed carry permit applications there.

Neither Morris nor McCauley would comment to The Messenger about what they were asked when meeting with the grand jury.

The grand jury meets behind closed doors, so it is not known if they were questioned about the concealed carry program.

Morris brought with her some records that were provided to the attorney general’s office representatives.

Also appearing before the grand jury Wednesday was a BCI forensic accountant.

Dawn Deputy, the fiscal officer for the sheriff’s office, was at the Courthouse and spoke briefly with the attorney general’s office representatives, then returned later with an armful of what appeared to be receipt books.

Deputy met for about a half hour with the forensic accountant, but did not testify before the grand jury Wednesday.

She did appear before the panel in June.Morris also was at Tuesday’s meeting of the grand jury.

Roberts would not comment late Wednesday afternoon on whether the grand jury has finished taking testimony, nor would he say whether the grand jury will meet again Thursday.

Although the attorney general’s office has not said what the grand jury concerns, it’s known that the office had been asked to look into several matters relating to Kelly, including his alleged disposal of public records, audit findings and an assault allegation.

It’s also known that BCI has made inquiries about his sale of county-owned scrap and disposal of vehicles.

Kelly has denied any wrongdoing, and has asserted that the investigation is politically motivated.

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