Bellefontaine Examiner

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Sheriff accused of destroying records

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — A sheriff in southeast Ohio is being criticized amid allegations that he illegally destroyed tons of public records during a cleaning of a storage area at his office.

Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly has denied that he did anything wrong. But county officials say Kelly did not get the required approval to dispose of hundreds of boxes of sheriff's and prosecutors' records trucked to the landfill this month.

The county prosecutor, Keller Blackburn, has been digging through a landfill looking for any more of the closed criminal case files that may have been thrown out.

Blackburn has asked the state attorney general's office to look into the destruction of public records. On Thursday, a state investigator seized boxes of records that the prosecutor feared also might disappear.

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