UPDATE (11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8th): Former Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood released a statement Wednesday evening saying “Only thing I can say at this time is that I’m innocent of these charges and I’m looking forward to my day in court.”

MEIGS COUNTY, OH (WOWK) – A former sheriff has been indicted by a Meigs County grand jury.

According to an indictment from the Common Pleas Court of Meigs County, former sheriff Keith O. Wood has been indicted on five counts including theft in office, a 4th-degree felony; telecommunications fraud, a 4th-degree felony; misuse of credit cards, a 5th-degree felony; misuse of credit cards, a 1st-degree misdemeanor; and soliciting or accepting improper compensation, a 1st-degree misdemeanor.

The criminal complaint states the alleged crimes happened between Jan. 1, 2021 and Nov. 11, 2022, in Meigs County. Wood is accused of allegedly taking $4,562 in money that belonged to the county while in office as well as allegedly improperly using county credit cards.

Wood announced his resignation on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, stating the resignation would be effective Nov. 11, 2022. On Nov. 17, 2022, the sheriff’s office announced Scott Fitch had been chosen to fill the final two years of Wood’s term.

Sheriff Fitch has released the following statement on Wood’s indictment:

The Meigs County Sheriff’s Office would like to ensure the citizens of Meigs County that the indictment of the former Sheriff will not affect the mission, goals, or daily operations of the Sheriff’s Office. We are committed to serving the citizens with the highest level of service and will continue to make Meigs County safer and a great place to live.

The Meigs County Sheriff’s Office will continue to be fully transparent and cooperate with the Ohio Auditor’s Office and assist them in anyway we can with their investigation. The Auditor’s Office has been given full access to all financial and other documents pertaining to their investigation, as well as making all employees accessible for making statements.

Meigs County Sheriff Scott Fitch

Sheriff Fitch also says he has implemented “many new safeguards internally” and with the office’s financial partners to “eliminate the likelihood of this happening again.”