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Special audit details investigation of former Meigs County sheriff

COLUMBUS – Former Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood paid findings for recovery totaling $9,160 after he was caught using public funds for personal uses.

The criminal case against him, which resulted in a conviction on a felony count of theft in office, is detailed in a special audit by the Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) that was released this week. 

Copies of the full report are available online (ohioauditor.gov/auditsearch/search.aspx).

SIU began its investigation of Wood in August 2022, after the Auditor of State’s Financial Audit Division received information from Meigs County Prosecutor James Stanley about the potential misuse of money from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund.

SIU confirmed that Wood used ATMs to withdraw cash from the fund at different locations in Ohio and West Virginia. He also used his county debit card to purchase food, fuel, and lottery tickets, none of which served a proper public purpose.

In September 2023, Wood pleaded guilty in Meigs County Common Pleas and, as part of a plea deal, was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and three years of community control. Violating the terms of his sentence could lead to up to 12 months in jail, and Wood is barred from serving in public office.

Additionally, Wood repaid $4,965.79 to the Law Enforcement Trust Fund and an additional $4,194.21 to the Meigs County general fund.

Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 117 convictions resulting in more than $8.2 million in restitution (see Map of SIU Convictions since January 2019). The team receives hundreds of tips of suspected fraud annually. Tips can be submitted anonymously online or via SIU’s fraud hotline at 866-FRAUD-OH (866-372-8364).

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