Former Grand Traverse Jail Administrator Todd Ritter Sentenced to 16-120 Months

'We're approaching the end of a sad chapter:' Todd Ritter Sentenced to 16-120 Months

Former Grand Traverse County Jail Administrator Todd Ritter was sentenced Friday for embezzlement and neglect of duty.

In May of 2019, Ritter was accused of several things: including having a relationship with former inmates, embezzlement and using his county-issued cell phone for sexual pictures and texts.

In August, Ritter was charged with embezzlement, sex crimes and larceny.

In December, Ritter plead guilty to embezzlement and neglect of duty.

And on Friday, January 15th, the case came to close as Ritter went in front of 13th Circuit Court Judge Kevin Elsenheimer for his sentencing.

“We’re approaching the end of a sad chapter,” says Judge Elsenheimer.

At Friday’s sentencing, Ritter learned his punishment for embezzlement and neglect of duty, but not before state prosecutors and Ritter’s defense team each pleaded their case.

Danielle Hagaman-Clark, prosecuting attorney from the Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Office, says, “He seeks to minimize blame, shift it to others and position himself as simply a bad husband or a womanizer.”

Shawn Worden, Ritter’s court-appointed attorney, says, “We don’t put debtors in jail, and we don’t put adulterers in jail, adultery goes through divorce and sometimes the court pays fault.”

Then Ritter got the chance to apologize for the crimes he admitted to last month.

“I do want to apologize to my agency, the community, the people I worked with that I held in very high esteem, I still do, the victims in the case, and my family, my boys, not having a dad that they can look up and respect right now,” says Ritter.

Judge Elsenheimer sentenced Ritter to a little more than a year-to-10 years behind bars, and he warned other authority figures to not take advantage of their power.

“The message should be sent to all people who are engaged, who are employed, in similar capacities throughout the state that this kind of behavior will result in a sentence,” says Judge Elsenheimer.

Grand Traverse County Sheriff Tom Bensley says justice has been served, however, there’s still a long road to recovery:

“This is something that’s going to hang over the sheriff’s office for a long time, it’s a scar and it’s going to take a long time for that resolve itself and go away.”

Ritter is will serve his sentence at the Leelanau County Jail starting today.