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State audit: Former Ottawa County Sheriff Bob Bratton misused public money

Andy Ouriel • Mar 15, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Former Ottawa County Sheriff Bob Bratton misused about $10,000 in taxpayer money, purchasing items like shoes, neckties, belts, cigars, Cedar Point passes and prescription medications, a state audit found.

Ottawa County prosecutor Mark Mulligan said Bratton will not be charged criminally because there were no clear guidelines governing purchases made with funds from the sheriff's furtherance of justice account.

From January 2008 to September 2011, Bratton used the furtherance of justice money to purchase items for himself, his employees and people who helped his office, the audit found.

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost ordered Bratton to repay $7,200 to the sheriff's office. Said Yost: “This shopping list is just incredible. The taxpayers’ belts are already tight — they shouldn’t have to pay for his belt too.”

Bratton chalked up the mistakes to sloppy bookkeeping.

“You bet your butt I made mistakes,” Bratton said. “I’m embarrassed about it. I’m sorry about it."

To read more on what Bratton and Mulligan had to say, pick up Thursday's Register. Also, be sure to check out the PDFs below to read the full audit report, and Yost's comments on the findings.

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