Former sheriff pleads not guilty
Former Sheriff Keith O. Wood appeared in Common Pleas Court Monday March 6, 2023 with assigned Judge Scott W. Nesbaum presiding. Wood pled not guilty on charges of Theft in Office felony of the fourth degree, Telecommunications Fraud felony fourth degree, Misuse of Credit Cards felony fifth degree, Misuse of Credit Cards misdemeanor first degree, Soliciting or Accepting Improper Compensation misdemeanor first degree. Wood is represented by Robert Toy, while the State is represented by special prosecutor Tom Anger. Wood was released on a OR bond with a firearms disability as requested by the State. All parties met in judge’s chambers before the hearing and court dates were set then. The Jury trial will be September 18, 2023 at 8 a.m. with Special Judge Scott W. Nesbaum presiding.
In the Bill of Particulars filed in the Meigs County Common Pleas Court on February 15, 2023 it states that on or about August 29, 2022, the Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit opened an investigation into suspicious purchases and ATM withdrawals from the Meigs County Law Enforcement Trust Fund (LETF). Wood was the only person to have access to that account’s ATM card according to court documents.
According to the prosecution, Wood made purchases at several local gas stations. These purchases were not for law enforcement purposes. Wood explained that he left the house without his personal ATM card on several occasions and had to use the LETF card. These purchases were made on September 2,13,14,15 (twice), December 1,2.
Wood made several ATM withdrawals at banks, and gambling cafes in Parkersburg, West Virginia. according to the prosecution. Wood was captured on video camera at the gambling establishments, and ATM records reveal that the withdraws made from the LETF account match up with the dates and times Wood was seen on video at these establishments. ATM withdrawals from the LETF account were made on April 19*, 26*, 27*, 28* , May 1*, 7, 24*, July 20*, 21, 30, 2022. According to prosecution none of these withdrawals were for a legitimate law enforcement purpose, and the ones marked with asterisks were made at gambling cafes. The total amount unlawfully withdrawn from the account (between purchases and ATM withdrawals) is $4562.00, according to court documents.
Editors note all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law