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Clinton County Sheriff, wife charged with official misconduct, conflict of interest

Sheriff Rich Kelly.jpg
Posted at 8:35 PM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 16:33:26-05

CLINTON COUNTY — Clinton County Sheriff Richard Kelly and his wife were charged Friday after they formed a business to pocket Clinton County Jail commissary funds without filing disclosure forms as required by state law.

An investigation found Richard and Ashley Kelly, who works at the jail, were the sole owners of Leonne LLC, which they used to operate jail commissary and receive its profits, according to a probable cause affidavit.

They pocketed $177,000 from commissary profits during the first two years after Richard Kelly assumed office, according to the affidavit.

Both are charged with three counts each of official misconduct and one count each of conflict of interest, all level 6 felonies.

David Thomas, senior prosecuting attorney for Indiana, has been appointed to prosecute both cases.

Richard Kelly responded to the charges in a statement late Friday, calling them "nothing more than a political farce."

The following statement was released on his behalf:

"Given the timeline of events, this is nothing more than a political farse. The items being contested are still in civil litigation in Tippecanoe County Court and are the same contained in the SBOA findings from last year and our subsequent response. My wife and I look forward to continuing our efforts to increase public safety with the hiring of new deputies and jail staff, made possible by the nearly $1,500,000 federal inmate project that we brought into the community in 2020. We plan on announcing our medical savings to the county of over $388,000 for 2021 in the next week. We also look forward to expanding our jail programs to a Jail Chemical Addiction Program (JCAP) that will incorporate more services to the recovery of inmates. We will continue our successful programs, saving taxpayers money, reducing recidivism and providing state of the art technology, equipment and training to all members of our agency."

This is a developing story.