Chief justice appoints corruption board
Sandusky Register Staff
Feb 20, 2014 at 12:50 PM
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor appointed a special three-judge commission Wednesday to consider the suspension of Athens County Sheriff Patrick Kelly.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine asked for the suspension after a special grand jury indicted Kelly on 25 criminal counts Jan. 31, including 13 counts of theft in office.
O’Connor was required to wait 14 days before appointing the commission, according to a news release from the Ohio Supreme Court.
The news release did not provide the names of the persons appointed to the review commission.
Sheriff Kelly has denied he committed any illegal acts.
“The indictment charges that the criminal conduct Kelly undertook spans his entire tenure of holding the public office of Athens County sheriff” a document signed by Assistant Attorney General James Roberts states. “By taking campaign donations, Kelly began using his position for his own personal gain before even assuming office”
Meanwhile, DeWine is continuing a criminal investigation into the 2007 death of Craig Burdine at the Sandusky County jail.
Burdine was injured prior to his arrest on Aug. 11, 2007, and became highly combative with officers when he was taken to jail, they said. Surveillance video from the police cruisers that responded to the Sycamore Street address where he was arrested, however, don’t show Burdine being combative.
Neither the Fremont police, nor the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office conducted any sort of criminal investigation after Burdine died, according to the attorney general’s office. Instead, the officers involved provided witness statements with matching information describing what they said occurred.
A forensic pathologist who reviewed the autopsy information said Burdine was the victim of a homicide at the jail. County officials, however, say he died a sudden death due to drug and alcohol abuse and “excited delirium,” a condition often cited to explain deaths that happen when they involve police custody.