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Judges' panel suspends southeast Ohio sheriff

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A panel of judges has suspended from office a southeast Ohio sheriff indicted in a corruption case.

The decision announced Friday by the Ohio Supreme Court came after Athens County Sheriff Patrick Kelly said he wouldn't challenge the suspension, which the three-judge panel had preliminarily recommended earlier this month.

The charges against Kelly include theft in office, tampering with records and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Kelly is suspected of improperly using public funds to buy meals and personal apparel, selling county property to a scrapyard and stealing wire from a county garage, among other allegations.

A retired sheriff's office lieutenant was named interim sheriff until Kelly's replacement is appointed next month.

Kelly has denied wrongdoing and vows to fight the charges at trial in September.

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