Misappropriation of Government Funds
is a Felony in Oklahoma
Last Wednesday we attended the Oklahoma County Commissioners Meeting where the future of Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel was on the agenda. The decision to consider dealing with the corrupt sheriff had been delayed since the previous week, no doubt to prevent Whetsel from losing the election.
The chairs were full of deputy sheriffs, leaving little room for the other reporters, activists, and citizens that showed up to watch the show.
Whetsel pleaded for his job, claiming his daughter called asking if he was "okay", doing everything he could to hide the simple fact that the State Auditor had found ample evidence of wrong doing on multiple issues. The misappropriation of government funds from an intended purpose to another is felony embezzlement. Then there were all the instances of breaking state law on a host of other issues. Then the $28,000 to Whetsel's trust fund, paid for a worn out car with 81,000 miles on the odometer while brand new cars were being bought for thousands of dollars less.
Despite that Sheriff Whetsel received around 1.8% more votes and he won his re election. Why? For two reasons one of which we will cover in stories below, the treachery of GOP State Chairman Pam Pollard and the treachery of Oklahoma Second Amendment Association (OK2A) Tim Gillespie and Don Spencer. Pollard's act was the most damaging for sure and there was a reasonable purpose for doing so if you have no honor and no integrity.
What happens next to Whetsel? The County Commissioners voted to have Oklahoma County D.A. David Prater open an investigation into the Whetsel scandal. Prater told the commissioners that a county Grand Jury would be costly and would take some time to set up while the State Multi County Grand Jury would be re convening in January. His investigation will take two to six months to properly document and evidence the corruption and embezzlement as a criminal burden of proof is much higher than what the State Auditor needed to show the criminal conduct. There the simple facts are enough to show cause for removal from office but a criminal case has to be solid and airtight to prevent weaseling out by Whetsel.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt could order the OSBI to investigate to speed things up but when they did that to Prater after the Sooner Tea Party articles in October of 2012 it still took till January before the Grand Jury picked up the case.
The law states that if Whetsel survives in office over 2.5 years into his term a replacement can be appointed but if he goes to trial and is found guilty in less than that time a special election must be held. As soon as Whetsel is indicted expect the County Commissioners to suspend him from office, probably with pay, until he is convicted, a hung jury occurs, or he is vindicated. Juries and voters can be damned stupid at times so expect anything but according to the State Audit Whetsel the Weasel is almost certainly guilty of embezzlement.