Former Ottawa County Sheriff Robert Bratton pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to one count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, a felony.
Bratton, 60, of Genoa, admitted he improperly spent about $5,000 from his office’s Furtherance of Justice Fund while he was still sheriff.
The misspending, which included personal purchases as well as rewards for citizen volunteers and bonuses for employees, was uncovered by Ohio Auditor David Yost’s office in 2012 during a special audit. The Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office chose not to pursue criminal charges against Bratton, who served as sheriff from 2004 to 2011.
Bratton resigned as sheriff in September, 2011, to take a job as police chief in Genoa – a post he resigned from earlier this month.
Judge Jack Zouhary scheduled sentencing for May 28.