Claremore Daily Progress

Breaking News

April 2, 2014

State auditor reveals possible fraud

Rogers County officials Helm, Anderson, Thacker and Pinkerton-Baker named

CLAREMORE —

Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones determined officials in Rogers County violated state law, submitted fictitious invoices, back dated records and failed to properly document $5 million in federal FEMA funds.

The auditors also found officials utilized county equipment for personal use, conducted work on private property, solicited vendors for gifts and accepted illegal campaign contributions.

“Rogers County of all counties has seen the result of what happens when things are not handled properly and when people neglect their responsibilities [speaking of the multi-million dollar Material Services lawsuit],” Jones said.  “When people are doing things in a manner that costs more money, ultimately it is the taxpayers that pay the bill.”

The 2011 audit released today details possible instances of misappropriation or fraud.

“We are talking about transparency and accountability,” Jones said. “The citizens are demanding it.”

The state auditor’s office began the annual review in May 2013, taking nearly a year to complete, due to the complexity of the issues.

Rogers County Commissioners Mike Helm and Kirt Thacker, Treasurer Cathy Pinkerton-Baker and Rogers County Clerk Robin Anderson were all named individually based on the findings.

The 66-page document lists the material findings, which could potentially result in further action.

“Before a lot of things were going undetected or people were not watching. We are watching and it is our job to hold folks accountable and that is what we are doing,” Jones said. “We are the reporting agency. It is up to somebody else to enforce. We are going to turn it over to the appropriate agency for enforcement.”

The Claremore Progress will publish a series of stories further detailing the auditor's findings in the coming days. 

 

Find the full audit here.

1
Text Only
Breaking News
Poll

Do you prefer the warm summer weather of 2013 or the mild rainy weather we are currently experiencing?

Hot/Dry Summer
Mild/Wet Summer
I prefer any season but Summer.
I don't have an opinion.
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN