Former Assistant For Sheriff Pat Kelly Resigns

By
Susan Tebben - Athens Messenger staff reporter

Dateline
Updated Fri, Aug 15, 2014 9:49 am

An employee of the Athens County Sheriff’s Office who was Pat Kelly’s administrative assistant until he was suspended has resigned under scrutiny.

“I am voluntarily resigning and I take responsibility for the actions that lead (sic) to my resignation,” Teresa Kirkendall wrote in a letter The Messenger obtained through a public records request.

Interim Sheriff Rodney Smith accepted the resignation on Aug. 7.

While Kirkendall’s letter did not give a reason for her resignation, Smith said she is under investigation by an agency outside of the department.

Smith would not discuss the nature of the investigation, nor would he say what outside agency was conducting the investigation. Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn also declined to comment because the investigation is ongoing, he said.

Kirkendall has been working as the processor for the warrant and civil divisions of the office since April 21. According to her personnel file, also obtained through a public records request, her job duties included processing county paperwork, including subpoenas, summons, arrest warrants and other official documents. She also processed out-of-county and out-of-state paperwork.

Kirkendall was paid an hourly wage of $15 in the position.

She had served with the department for nearly 20 years, and was administrative assistant to the sheriff during Kelly’s administration. She was moved from that position after Kelly was suspended due to a pending criminal case against him, for which he is scheduled to stand trial in January.

Attempts to reach Kirkendall were unsuccessful.

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