Update: Kelly Indicted On 25 Counts

By
WOUB Staff Writer
Athens Messenger staff reports

Dateline
Updated Fri, Jan 31, 2014 5:03 pm

UPDATE 5:00 p.m. Athens County prosecutor Keller Blackburn - who originally called for a special prosecutor in the case - responded to the indictment in an emailed statement, which can be viewed in its entirety below.

Athens County Prosecutor Responds To Kelly Indictment


UPDATE: 4:30 p.m. After being silent on his Facebook page for a few hours Friday, Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly posted this to his personal page.

 

 


UPDATE 3:30 p.m. DeWine said that Kelly would not be removed as sheriff at this time. The Ohio Supreme Court will make a decision in the next few days to decide whether Kelly should step aside as sheriff while the case proceeds.

DeWine also noted that his office believes the grand jury is done and wouldn't speculate about any additional charges in the future.

Kelly was not indicted for his alleged assault in 2012.

The sheriff was charged with 23 felonies, including 13 counts of theft, two counts of tampering, felony perjury, dereliction of duty, failing to keep a cashbook, money laundering, and the first-degree "pattern of corrupt activity" charge.

Full List Of Counts Against Pat Kelly


UPDATE 3:00 p.m. DeWine finished his prepared remarks with the biggest of the charges: a first-degree felony corruption charge.

DeWine went on to say that first-degree felonies are 3 to 11 years in prison, while second-degree felonies are 2 to 8 years.

DeWine also said that his office is unsure of whether any of Kelly's employees will be indicted in the case, saying the "only person indicted today was the Sheriff."


UPDATE 2:45 p.m. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is laying out the charges in the indictment at his press conference, which started at 2:30 p.m. Included in the charges are at 13 counts of theft, amounting to anywhere between $1,000 and $7,500. Each count of theft in Kelly's office is a fifth-degree felony charge.

DeWine repeatedly said that Kelly "used his office in aide of committing these offenses."

DeWine said the grand jury, which last met Jan. 21-23, heard more than 25 witnesses in the case.


UPDATE 2:09 p.m. Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly is expected to plead not guilty to the 25-county indictment at his upcoming arraignment, WOUB has learned.

Kelly's arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 10. Attorney General Mike DeWine is getting ready to step to a podium in Athens for a 2:30 p.m. press conference to discuss the indictment. Follow @woubnews for updates.


UPDATE 1:35 p.m. Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly was indicted Friday by the Ohio Attorney General's Office on 25 counts.

A source close to the situation tells WOUB that included in the indictment is a first-degree felony charge of "engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity." Two misdemeanors and multiple other felonies are included in the indictment. Also, charges of theft and perjury are included against Kelly.

Kelly spoke to WBNS in Columbus:

"Sadly, the Attorney General's obsession with the following political agenda suggests that their leadership is not up to the kind of honest investigation and oversight that would lead to a clear and just assessment of the facts presented. I have not committed or attempted to commit a criminal act, nor have any of my employees. After two years of accusations and suppositions in an attempt to overturn the results of this past election, in which the majority of Athens County voters cast their confidence in me, we will now discuss this injustice in a court setting where the facts will be presented."

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. in Athens, and WOUB will live-tweet his remarks @woubnews.


UPDATE 12:13 p.m. An ongoing grand jury believed to be investigating matters involving Sheriff Patrick Kelly reconvened Friday at the Athens County Courthouse. 

Also present at the courthouse Friday was Attorney General Mike DeWine, The Athens Messenger has learned. Along with DeWine, a half dozen agents from the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation were seen at the courthouse.

DeWine's office, which oversees BCI, has been coordinating the grand jury investigation for several months.

It is not yet known whether the grand jury will reach a conclusion by the end of Friday. The grand jury had previously met for three days earlier this week and received testimony in June and September. 

Several current or former employees of the sheriff's office testified to the grand jury earlier this week, the Messenger previously reported, including Sheriff's Capt. Bryan Cooper and Brynne Morris, who works in records.

It is believed that at least part of the investigation against Kelly involves allegations regarding the sheriff's office's handling of records. While the Attorney General's Office has not publicly stated the details surrounding the grand jury, County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn previously confirmed he had asked the AG's office to investigate Kelly's alleged disposal of prosecutor's office records.

There may be other matters related to the sheriff's office being investigated as well, including disposal of county vehicles, Kelly's sale of county scrap and concealed-carry permits.


A local report says that more than six months of grand jury deliberations might be over shortly.

A decision in the investigation into Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly could come as early as Friday, according to the Athens News.

That same report states that Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is in Athens to meet with the grand jury, which first met in June 2013 and most recently convened Jan. 21-23.

Kelly is reportedly being investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) for an alleged assault on a resident, refusal to adhere to the findings and concealed carry permits.

More from the story:

As the probe continued, however, it has apparently widened, with BCI looking at such matters as the sheriff's alleged disposal of county records, his sale of county items for scrap, and his payment of confidential informants.

The Athens NEWS in a story Jan. 21 quoted an informed source stating that the Jan. 21-23 grand jury sessions were expected to be the last time the jury convened before meeting to issue some type of resolution to its proceedings - which could include an indictment of the sheriff and possibly others.

WOUB will have more as the story progresses. Follow @woubnews on Twitter for updates.

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