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.



I wonder how many trips to the China Buffet us taxpayers footed the bill for !  What a hypocrite !


Isnt this the same sheriff who cryied ice fisherman should be charged for rescuing? That it cost the sheriffs office to much money to help them. Maybe the next time there is a rescue he could take the money from his personal tie, cigar and cedar point fund.


Corruption exists all over in political and government organizations.  Little will ever be done, as you can see.


No charges filed? Wow, brings new meaning to ABOVE THE LAW. Everyone else that would extort public monies has to pay it all back plus jail time!! Utterly amazing!! From a guy that has more chins than a Chinese phone book, he knew what he was doing. Mark Mulligan should have charges brought against himself for his role in putting this theft in office to the side bar. Pathetic piece of work. I am curious as to who the Cedar Point passes went to, funny they cannot expose that, but if they really wanted to Cedar Point would have that information as well as the sheriff !!!


He should not have to pay for his duty belt, but cigars and Cedar Point tickets?! Crook.


I would like to see him charged criminally, but the AG will not waste the time and money because this case is too weak for a criminal conviction and PRISON time.  Do ANY of you believe they can get a guilty conviction in Ottawa County?  This sheriff will have so many liberal EXCUSES that guilty beyond a reasonable doubt will be diminished.  I am glad he ADMITTED his GUILT and mistakes, but he should pay back ALL of it.  Not just part of it.  When it takes an investigation and state audit to find out you are WRONG doing whatever you feel like, then pay it back.  Bratton will be ripe for someone else to run for Sheriff and banner him as corrupt and rightfully so.  Here we have another elected official who feels they are so powerful, they can do whatever they want,...until they get caught!     


why shouldn't he be charged like any other person who steals from the public?  He is just as guilty as the next thief isn't he?  I don't really care how embarassed he is.  Is he embarassed because he got caught or because he did the things he did? 

I remember him yelling and crying about those fisherman and what they cost for their rescue.  What about what he cost the taxpayer?  Come on, prescriptions, tickets to CP, belts, shoes and unsubstantiated funds gone?  Wow, this is bad.  Especially for someone sworn to uphold the law. 

Why not use him as an example?

Taxpayer.....I am SOOOO proud of you, a comment without any liberal items in it.  Holy cow!!!! you rock


Knowing Ottawa County, my assumption is that the Cedar Point passes went to Mark Mulligan and his wife for Mulligans compliance. Call it "Quid Pro Quo." Bob Bratton is a proven pathological liar and a shame to the few honest officers the O.S.C.O has remaining. If the register wants a real stor ylook into the current Cheif Deputies moral fiber, He makes bratton look honest. Recall Mark Mulligan!




What a  "SOB"

Sweet Old Bob.



"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. 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."   mulligan is a joke.  how can buying personal things like shoes, neckties, belts, cigars, cedar point passes and prescription drugs not be criminal? if anybody else did this, the prosecutor would have thrown the book at them. mulligan needs to be investigated for not charging his pals.


Why things like cigars, cedar point passes?  My biggest question would have to be answered by the Drug Enforcemet Agency, or at least the State Board of Pharmacy. Why and what prescrption drugs were purchaced by Mr Bratton over the internet.  Do county employees have insurance?  If they do then would not his co-payments be much less than the amount that was listed as payment?


Molon Labe



didn't mulligan and bratton help throw that disbarred attorney into prison?


that is one good cigar.


The resemblence is uncanny.

Finn Finn

With all the MANY attorneys in Ottawa County, I really wish someone would run against Mulligan, but nobody ever does.  If you don't know him, look up the word "Arrogant" in the dictionary and you'll find a picture of him!

Darwin's choice

@Frugal........over the top with that one!


"One of the Greatest Men I know!!! I'm sure it was unintentional!!" how can buying cigars and cedar point passes not be intentional? how can the justice fund be used to buy cigars and cedar point passes? what a idiot. anybody else would be charged with crimes. those funds were converted to private use. "former Sheriff Bob Bratton misspent taxpayer's dollars on haircuts, cigars, shoes, neckties, and season passes to Cedar Point amusement park. Mr. Bratton, who is now the Genoa police chief, made more than $7,000 in undocumented purchases, using the office's Furtherance of Justice fund. The sheriff, the report said, used a departmental credit card to make $745 in personal purchases on such items as shoes, belts, neckties, reading glasses, cigars, a haircut, a doctor's office co-payment, a watch, books, and a coat, as well as using it to buy two seasons passes in June, 2010, to Cedar Point in Sandusky for $323."  give me a break. he  got caught.


"no clear guidelines governing purchases made with funds from the sheriff's furtherance of justice account" So the statement about him misuse of funds is not correct!



others who buy personal things take money from their wallet or use their own credit card. to use public funds for personal use is criminal. why didn't bratton use his own money from his wallet or his personal credit card like honest people do? no excuse to use public funds for personal use. what part of the law doesn't mulligan understand?


Another corrupt Democrat. Who'd a thunk it!

dig this

     I know.  The Devil made him do it. Ask


i am really p!ssed! idiots are now defending a crook.. common sense dictates what is proper with public funds. i hope that the irs goes after him for not reporting all of his income and benefits using public funds.

Julie R.

Just another fine example of an ethical and moral public official.

Hey Sheriff Bratton --- I'll bet that disbarred attorney that you and your corrupt cronies chased after was never ignorant enough to misuse $10,000.00 in taxpayer money! 


"In no way do cigars and Cedar Point passes further the cause of justice," Yost said. "While I'm glad the citizens of Ottawa County have been repaid, a man of the law should know better than to use a public credit card for a shopping spree."  indict him!


"Hey Sheriff Bratton --- I'll bet that disbarred attorney that you and your corrupt cronies chased after was never ignorant enough to misuse $10,000.00 in taxpayer money! "   karma?


He said he's made mistakes and he's sorry.  Wonder how many people who were arrested said similiar things but still had their butts put in a cell?


This overwieght man is why most young people don't respect authority.    Bet he never knew job loss or layoffs.   This is another reason America is in trouble. 


mulligan stew. looks like a toilet bowl full of crap!


"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.


sometimes a lot of baked on crud sticks to the bottom of the pot. you need to use brillo and a little elbow grease to remove it. sometimes you need to throw the pot away if the teflon got burned up.


"Many of the items could probably have been taken out of the general fund anyway."  another audit? taken from the general fund? koebel said it.


"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." hey mulligoons, what about misuse of a credit card? hey mulligoons, how many people have you charged with misuse of a credit card or who "borrowed" some money with the intentions to pay it back? what kind of a attorney are you mulligoons that you charge some people by throwing the book at them but make excuses for others? misuse of a credit card is misuse. what if yost never brought this up? why did bratton retire to take another job? lots of questions need to be answered. nobody is talking just making excuses for bob. how about every county worker use a county credit card to buy cigars or cedar point passes? will you charge them if they are republicans or not in the club?

Marcus M

FruGalSpender,  aka EB I see you have expanded Internet access in the pen, why so upset did they finally allow you a mirror and scale?.......


hey marcus m do i have a surprise for you. give it a few weeks when you take your wife out to dinner. what will you do when a strange woman comes up to you while you are dining out with your wife? let's say this strange woman will ask you why you never call? what will you say? what if this strange woman asks you who that other woman is that you are dining with? what if this strange woman tells you in front of your wife that you said that you are single? it is going to be fun. fun for me but what will you say to your wife? ; ) i am looking forward to it.


hey marcus m.   i will snap a couple of pictures and post them on here, will you sue me?  where is your evidence that we were not having a affair?   ; ) 


i will have much fun with you marcus m. i have enough information. i will make a example of you.

Marcus M

frugalspender, I must have awoken you from your nap and hanging upside down in the cave, conversing with you reminds me of an old saying;

"Do not argue with an idiot. She will drag you down to her level and beat you with experience"   As for the "strange" women coming up to me, if its a 12 pack beauty, real fat, uglo subspecies, I will just introduce you to my wife and ask when you were released......