Ok County Sheriff Whetsel Faces Potential Charges over Improper Donations
Count seven of the list of potential charges from the State Audit of the Oklahoma County Sheriff Department covers an unusual donation of Sheriff Whetsel’s personal vehicle after a $28,000 payment was made to Sheriff Whetsel’s spouses’ Trust. The donation of the vehicle was not approved by the Board of County Commissioners as required by law. The audit also found that work had been done on previously personally owned cars. The vehicle was bought in 2007 for $32,341.89 in the name of ‘Cynthia A Whetsel Trust’ on October 31, 2007, with the buyer listed as John Whetsel. After racking up over 83,000 miles on the vehicle Whetsel “transferred” the vehicle to the Oklahoma County Sheriff Department for an unspecified amount according to Oklahoma Tax Commission records.
Yet the Department didn’t cut a check to Whetsel, a Reserve Deputy did, one Eli Jarjoura gave Sheriff John Whetsel a cashier’s check for $28,000.00 for the old car. But that is where the deal gets very unusual. The check from Bright Smiles Dentistry, owned by Eli Jarjoria, was deposited into the Cynthia A Whetsel Trust, owned by Sheriff John Whetsel but the car shows up as “donated” by Bright Smiles Dentistry three months later on March 30th 2011.
Now if Jarjoura wanted to donate the old car, why wouldn’t he first purchase the car, pay the tags and excise tax owed, then donate the car to the Department? And why wait three months to “donate” the car after paying the $28,000.00 to Whetsel on December 16th of 2010?
Even more problematic is the value for the old car when Sheriff Whetsel was purchasing identical models for only $25,342 each? Thousands of dollars more for a four year old car with 83,000 miles on it? Could this transaction be a sham covering up a $28,000.00 bribe or gift? Of course the deal/donation wasn’t ran past the County Commissioners either, as required by law.
Two other cars were donated by the same Eli Jarjoura. The first was a Chevy Camero in August of 2009 and in January of 2010 a Dodge Charger was purchased and donated. The cars were purchased in the Sheriff Department’s name and immediately registered in the Department’s name but paid for by Eli Jarjoura, escaping the excise tax due on the cars. Neither donation was ran past the County Commissioners as required by Title 60 O.S. § 390.
Who was this Eli Jarjoura that was spending tens of thousands of dollars donating to Whetsel? Jarjoura is a Middle Eastern Man, originally from Lebanon, turned up a few years before wanting to be a Reserve Deputy after being turned down by the City of Choctaw according to our sources. Despite large donation offers at Choctaw the city passed on the deal and Jarjoura was introduced to Whetsel who gladly took the cash.
Jarjoura started his paperwork and a problem arose, a felony arrest years before in the Norman area. Jarjoura set lawyers to work expunging the arrest and applied to work as a Reserve Deputy. Somehow in the application process the felony arrest was either missed or ignored and CLEET training was scheduled and started before the expungement was completed. In fact the arrest record remained on the OSCN.net website long after, until someone started investigating Jarjoura and screen shot the details before contacting the Norman courthouse for more information. The data promptly disappeared once questions were asked.
A book could be written about the strange going on with Eli Jarjoura and Sheriff John Whetsel. The Lebanese immigrant dentist donated hundreds of thousands of dollars and in return received a position on the SWAT team, intimate access to the Sheriff’s Department, and one of the donated vehicles back completely decked out in state of the art communication equipment including a tie in with the FBI and Homeland Security alerts. Why would a Middle Eastern man wan that kind of access to police communication? The vehicle was garaged in his personal home until the story broke and Whetsel brought the car back to the Fleet Center.
Publically Jarjoura never stated his religion other than stating in an interview that his family “identified” with a church. The botched background interview that didn’t find the felony arrest before it was expunged probably meant that no background check was ever done. What we do know is that after Jarjoura sued the Sooner Tea Party leaders and three others including Whetsel’s 2012 political opponent Jarjoura refused to provide the court ordered discovery material including the CLEET and Oklahoma County Reserve Deputy application and a judge dismissed his lawsuit. Actually Jarjoura did provide a Reserve Deputy application… dated long after he had filed the lawsuit. It appears that there was never an original application filed or it had damaging information.
During the two year long lawsuit Jarjoura’s brother was accused of embezzling one and a half million dollars from Bright Smiles Dentistry. However he guy seemed to have embezzled the money, then turned around and paid two thirds of it back by paying ordinary business expenses out of the Yukon Oklahoma bank account. I don’t know about you but if I stole cash I wouldn’t likely use that cash to pay my employer’s bills. One clue to what really occurred was that at the time of the lawsuit Bright Smiles Dentistry, Jarjoura, and a slew of co owners/partners of some sort were being sued in a Qui Tam lawsuit for a boat load of money allegedly bled out of Medicaid and Sooner Care over baiting poor clients to use their dentist office. Perhaps the Yukon bank account was money set aside to start over if the lawsuit prevailed. What we do know is that the brother allegedly fled to Lebanon after being given ten days head start.
The final potential charge against Whetsel is a lobbyist that was paid out of the Reserve Deputy fund despite not holding a CLEET card and being a registered lobbyist. Hired in January and laid off in March, this continued for years it appears.