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

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.
Andy Ouriel
Mar 15, 2012

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.



"This overwieght man is why most young people don't respect authority." correction kurt. more like morbidly obese.



what the?

Love the Boss Hogg photo!


"My Bad".......didn't mean to buy a belt, Cedar Point tickets, and some donuts........."My Bad Guys"


my digging further.  "Ottawa County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan had asked the court to give Ms. Baumgartner the maximum sentence of 30 days on each of the 27 counts, saying she had a "long history of slander, libel, and contempt. ontempt is not an anomaly for this defendant; it is a lifestyle," Mr. Mulligan said. "She remains unrepentant. She will not even pay lip service to remorse. Over her career as a peddler of despicable lies, Elsebeth has injured hundreds of people. She has sought to cripple public institutions in an attempt to replace justice with anarchy."  mulligan is a creep! investigate this good old boy! how much money did elsebeth steal from the public coffers? who did she hurt? did mulligan investigate her allegations?


"Elsebeth has injured hundreds of people"  how about the sandusky register get a list of these hundreds of people? can mulligan name them or does hundreds mean a half dozen to mulligan? did mulligan lie?


how about emil or andy get a list of these hundreds of people from mulligan? newspapers have great power. mulligan will say duh, i don't remember.


I think the public has a right to know



i get so emotional sometimes. i need to stop reading the register online.


Yeah my error............As we say in the Corps.     What a fat ****.

Marcus M

frugalspender, you seem to be on a real tiff today, whats the problem someone buy you a scale & mirror, didn't realize that the pen has Internet access Ellsbeth....


"frugalspender, you seem to be on a real tiff today, whats the problem someone buy you a scale & mirror,"

facebook album photo of marcus m.

Marcus M

frugalspender, or shall I say ellesbeht .....  What the guards don't shut down the Internet after 3PM...


When is everyone going to get it? There are two standards. One for us and one for them.

When it's one of them, we all must realize that there's a "good and honest" reason for any criminal activity (or the appearance thereof.)

However, for us, it's charges and attorneys at $250 an hour. Slow ju$tice and a smeared reputation.




He paid the money Back because he got CAUGHT!!!!!! He bought Cigars, Cedar Points tickets and dinners how nice of him. Someone tell me the difference between what HE did and the women from the Catawba Fire Department who bought Underwear and food with their funds and is looking at Jail time. Oh wait I know he has Mark in his back pocket. What a load of CRAP!


I would think that we would hold those who are supposed to UPHOLD the law to a higher standard than those who keep breaking the law.  When you steal something and just pay it back does not mean you did not steal it, does it?

The mere fact that he had discretionary spending does not mean he had the right to spend it on himself.  That meant he had the right to spend it on the DEPARMTMENT needs.  That isn't his personal account.  I would think any fool would know that.  It does not include CP passes and personal prescriptions, and personal clothing for himself.

What gets me the most is his lack of bookkeeping as well.  Since when does a public official NOT know in this day and age that you do not keep receipts?  That you do not write things down or keep a log or ledger of expenses? No, this goes far deeper than that. 

I do not know the connection between the two men, and I do not care where this man is now, but he did this when he was in office in Ottawa county.  That is where this was committed and that is where he needs to pay the price for what he did....even if it is only thirty days. 

There should not be a free pass just because he was ONCE the "main man". 

Julie R.

Double standard is right! Wasn't that one of the things that the city of Sandusky (i.e. Baxter & Clowns) crucified and slandered Kim Nuesse for --- accepting tickets to Cedar Point? Just think of what the clowns would have done had she been ignorant enough to misuse (i.e. steal) public money like Bratton did.


@Julie.....didn't think about that, but you are right...yeah, similar.  Only diff is he is already out of there, but yeah you are right.

digger nick

Fin Fin...Very few attorneys would consider  taking the pay cut and working in a job like Mulligoons.

The prosecuting attorneys office only pays (depending on the county) around $95,000. One good ambulance chasing case won more than covers that. There are those like Mulligoon who would rather live off the government dole than be a real attorney. Those who can do, those who cannot work for someone else.

The fact is Big Booby Bratton and his gang of thieves have been pushing people around in Ottawa County for more than a decade. Over indictments (like the Brody case) only to plea bargain out to a lesser charge to avoid a trial (which might mean actually having to work a case) and public outrage.

Julie R.

Yep ---- considering how Kim Nuesse was crucified for accepting Cedar Point tickets while she was the Sandusky police chief, just think what the clowns would have done had Nuesse STOLEN ten grand of taxpayer monies and used the money on Cedar Point tickets and other things like Bob Bratton did.

A good example of what the hypocrites would have done:



Julie R.

Notice the double standard here:

The 2010 state audit in Vermilion said the former finance director, Michelle Bowens, was not entitled (?) to her accrued sick and personal pay of $9,000 because she quit her job ---so Baxter had her arrested and criminally charged with THEFT IN OFFICE. 

On the flip side of the coin, the state audit in Ottawa County specifically said sheriff Bratton MISUSED TEN THOUSAND OF PUBLIC MONEY --- yet Baxter's crony Mark Mulligan said Bratton will not be criminally charged because there were no clear guidelines (?) governing purchases made with funds from the sheriff's furtherance of justice account.

Corrupt and worthless.


Mulligoons?  that's funny lol!


"Big Booby Bratton"    can't argue with that. lol!



please notice the comments. also notice the comments by koebel the former ottowa county commissioner and good buddy of bratton. birds of a feather flock together?  how is koebel doing? still sticking up for his buds?


what say you koebel?


hey koebel, how many secrets are you hiding about corrupt ottowa county. please do tell. this is not the rag 6 page port clinton news herald. do tell koebel. you are registered as a commenter on the sandusky register. getting a little hot under the collar?


"Carl Koebel · Top commenter

I have known Bob Bratton for close to fifteen years, and I know that Bob did not believe he was doing anything wrong other than sloppy record keeping. No one is more caring and considerate than Bob, and purchasing gifts that were used to thank people that assisted the department, paying for inmates meals when they were working for the county, or replacing personal items broken in the line of duty for his personnel were things Bob would have done out of his pocket if need be, and I am certain felt use of the special funds designated for furtherance of justice were justified use. Needless to say, the State Auditor is acting like this is a criminal offense and Bob was trying to steal public funds. I feel his words were a little strong. Many of the items could probably have been taken out of the general fund anyway."   what a joke koebel is.

"paying for inmates meals when they were working for the county,"   what about box lunches from the county jail? how about a couple of bologna sandwiches? why pay for lunches to inmates? who got the money for the inmates lunches if they were not in jail? what a joke ottowa county is. bunch of no nothings and hillbillies live there.


" know that Bob did not believe he was doing anything wrong other than sloppy record keeping." how is buying cigars and cedar point season passes sloppy record keeping. was bratton supposed to file them under crime watch? do tell koebel. please explain koebel. bet that you won't.


i like to stir the pot to see what comes up from the bottom.