Updated Mon, Jun 2, 2014 10:01 am
A judge has granted a request from special prosecutors to prevent public disclosure of concealed-carry gun records in connection with the case of suspended Athens County Sheriff Patrick Kelly.
“It is hereby ordered that all documents and records related to concealed handgun licensure turned over by the state in discovery to the defendant shall not be disclosed by the defendant and/or counsel for the defendant without further order of this court,” ruled Judge Patricia Cosgrove, who has been assigned to handle Kelly’s criminal case in Athens County Common Plea Court.
Kelly has pleaded innocent to a 25-count indictment on charges that include engaging in corrupt activities, money laundering, theft in office, obstruction of justice and other counts.
Ohio Assistant Attorney General Melissa A. Schiffel, one of the special prosecutors in the case, had asked the court to issue an order requiring that the concealed-carry records be kept private.
In the motion, Schiffel cited Ohio Revised Code language that “the records that a sheriff keeps relative to the issuance, renewal, suspension, or revocation of a concealed handgun license ... are confidential and are not public records.”
She wrote that improper release of confidential concealed handgun license records is a felony. She indicated that granting of the motion would make certain everyone involved in the case is aware of the Ohio law under which the records are protected.
The request for the court order came after Kelly claimed more than $35,000 is missing from combined funds of the concealed carry program and BCI background fund. Dawn Deputy, fiscal officer for the sheriff’s office, has said that funds were missing as far back to 2004, which she said was only recently discovered.