“The ‘good ol’ boy’ practice of purchasing personal ammunition through a law enforcement discount is nothing new in America,” athennews.com opines. An opinion mooted by now-suspended Sheriff Pat Kelly, currently awaiting trial on multiple felony indictments. Repeating Kelly’s defense at the top of the article without attribution is an extremely odd way to start an expose of illegal ammo sales in Athens Couty, OH. Everyone does it so it’s OK? I don’t think so. The local po-po bought 90k discounted and tax-free rounds (that we know about) for $22,592. Customers included . . .
current and former sheriff’s deputies, reserve deputies, law-enforcement officials from outside agencies, and several individuals with no apparent current connection to area law enforcement. Oh, and the police department didn’t even pay for all the ammo it purchased.
Kelly said Wednesday that his office had been notified that those piggybacking on the sheriff’s office ammo order would have to pay taxes.
“Dawn Deputy, my fiscal officer, began preparing paperwork to notify (them) they would have to pay taxes on their ammunition,” he said.
Receipts obtained via public records show that the individuals did pay the Sheriff’s Office for the ammunition they received, though several individuals did not receive the ammunition, and everybody who paid received a non-taxed, discounted rate.
In one case, receipt shows a $1,200.80 payment from Westerville attorney Matthew B. Baker, who once represented Kelly in lawsuit filed by a deputy. Baker’s check shows he paid out of his attorney’s trust fund. That money is typically funded by clients and reserved specifically for work in service of said clients.
Baker wrote Athens County earlier this summer demanding remuneration seeing as his ammo was never received. Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn advised the Athens County Commissioners to pay Baker, though the only official with authority to write such a check is Auditor Thompson, who declined to do so considering the circumstances surrounding the ammunition. Thompson said recently that she has not heard back from Baker.
Another receipt shows that Sheriff’s Office Fiscal Officer Dawn Deputy, who purchased $107 worth of ammunition, wrote and signed her own payment receipt. Asked about this Monday, Sheriff Smith called it “bad business” and said that current office policy will not allow such a thing. He noted that Deputy, who handles payroll for the office, must seek other administrative signatures for her own payroll checks now.
Others were approached with the possibility of ordering ammunition, but later declined to participate, suspecting impropriety. [ED: yeah right] County Commissioner Charlie Adkins, for instance, was slated to purchase some .38 caliber and .45 caliber rounds.
You’d think that just getting ammo during the great ammo drought would have been enough for these “good old boys.” In fact, one wonders if the quote kicking off this article is correct. Just how many police departments have been channeling ammo to friends and family?
Equally, how much ammo tax has been illegally dodged? Is it fair that people connected to the cops can deny the feds the 11% ammo tax due under the Pittman–Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, ring-fenced for any given state’s fish and game department? It is not.
Once again, the “only ones” get special treatment, proving that absolute power corrupts absolutely. In case you didn’t know.