Former Athens Sheriff Pat Kelly has appealed his case to the Ohio Supreme Court.
In a memo filed Wednesday, Kelly, who is representing himself, argued that the Athens County Court of Appeals should not have denied his appeal Dec. 30.
On Feb. 12, 2015, a jury in the Athens Court of Common Pleas found Kelly guilty of 12 counts of theft in office, one count of perjury, one count of failure to keep a cashbook, three counts of theft and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, according to a previous Post report. Judge Patricia Cosgrove sentenced Kelly to seven years in prison.
Cosgrove said in the sentencing hearing that Kelly stole about $6,800 of county funds by selling county vehicles for scrap and buying personal meals on a debit card the sheriff’s office owned.
In his Dec. 30 appeal, Kelly and his attorney, Scott Wood, argued that there was insufficient evidence to convict him of theft in office, failing to maintain a cashbook, perjury and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. He also argued that the trial court incorrectly instructed the jury during deliberation, and that the court should not have found him guilty of criminal contempt.
Kelly’s appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court only concerns three of the issues he brought up in his appeal to the lower court: the sufficiency of evidence for his theft in office, the perjury convictions and the trial court’s instructions to the jury.
The Ohio Supreme Court will not hear Kelly’s case unless it determines it to be "of public or great general interest." Kelly argued in his appeal that his case is worth the attention of the Ohio Supreme Court.
For someone to be guilty of perjury, the false statements that person made must be material enough to affect the outcome of the trial. Kelly wrote in his appeal that his trial court did not explain that concept to the jury, and that courts should be required to in the future.
He also wrote that the prosecution in his initial trial defined a criminal enterprise as involving more than one person working together, but that the court then instructed the jury during deliberation that Kelly could be considered part of an "enterprise" even if he was acting alone. Kelly argued that it allowed the jury to find him guilty of a different crime than that of which the prosecution accused him, which he wrote is of public interest.
Kelly is currently incarcerated at Allen Correctional Institution in Lima, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction website. On Thursday he will have five years of his sentence remaining.