Former Ottawa County sheriff sentenced to 1 year probation for conviction of theft

Robert Bratton.
Robert Bratton.

Former Ottawa County Sheriff Robert Bratton was placed on probation for a year today in U.S. District Court for his conviction on one count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds.

Bratton, 61, of Genoa pleaded guilty to the felony charge in January before Judge Jack Zouhary, who also imposed a $1,000 fine.

Bratton, who stepped down as sheriff in 2011 to become Genoa’s police chief, admitted to improperly spending more than $5,000 from the sheriff’s office’s Furtherance of Justice Fund in 2010 while he was still sheriff. Though he could have faced prison time, a prison sentence was not recommended because of his lack of a criminal record and his willingness to take responsibility for the crime.

No restitution was ordered because Bratton already has repaid the misspent money.

He resigned from the Genoa Police Department Jan. 13 because of the criminal case.