Home for disabled facing inquiry

Greenfield man connected to home faces stalking charge

By Sarah Allen - [email protected]

A Greenfield man appeared on charges in Hillsboro Municipal Court on Thursday related to an ongoing inquiry concerning a local home for women with developmental disabilities.

James Kellis, 70, Greenfield, entered an agreement on a charge of felony theft. According to an affidavit filed with the court, Kellis allegedly went to a bank in Hillsboro and withdrew $1,054 from the alleged victim’s personal savings account. The affidavit added that the account was also closed.

On Thursday, Highland County Assistant Prosecutor James Roeder said there had been a disagreement over how much was owed to each party. Following investigation into each amount, a balance was found. Kellis agreed to pay that on Thursday. As such, the case was dismissed.

A caseworker told the court that the alleged victim approved of the agreement.

Kellis is also charged with first-degree misdemeanor stalking, court records showed. The charge involves the same alleged victim as the theft case.

An affidavit filed with the court stated that during the months of May and June, Kellis continued to contact the alleged victim “even after being advised not to contact her.”

Kellis allegedly went to the woman’s residence, and later went to her place of employment at Hills and Dales Training Center. According to the affidavit, “After several failed attempts to speak with (her), he began to threaten different staff members at Hills and Dales.”

The affidavit also described an incident in which the Greenfield Police Department was called when Kellis went to a class the alleged victim was attending. According to the affidavit, Kellis came toward her, and she “ran and locked herself in the restroom in fear.”

The affidavit added: “It should be noted that … Kellis was the provider for (the alleged victim) prior to May 2015, (when) she was relocated due to inappropriate behavior” by Kellis.

Defense attorney J.D. Wagoner said on Thursday that while the stalking charge was filed in municipal court, it should have been filed in county court, as the alleged incident occurred in Greenfield.

A motion concerning the venue will be considered during a hearing later this month. A jury trial was previously set for October, records showed.

According to Highland County Board of Developmental Disabilities Superintendent Deb Buccilla, an inquiry is currently ongoing at the Kellis Home in Greenfield. She said Kellis’ wife is the provider of services for women there.

Buccilla said that the board of developmental disabilities is charged with making sure individuals are getting proper services. When there is a question concerning those services, an inquiry is initiated.

She added that there is a system in Ohio in which Major Unusual Incidences (MUIs) are reported. Buccilla said there are “several that are open” concerning services at the Kellis Home.

Buccilla also said that she could not provide additional information “since they’re ongoing cases.”

Reach Sarah Allen at 937-393-3456, ext. 1680, or on Twitter @SarahAllenHTG.

Greenfield man connected to home faces stalking charge

By Sarah Allen

[email protected]