Claremore Daily Progress

March 9, 2014

The Sheriff speaks out

Scott Walton
Rogers County Sheriff

CLAREMORE —

In a recent edition of the weekly Oologah Lake Leader, which I will never respect again, its owner, John Wylie crossed yet another line of integrity. He repeatedly accused the late Mickey Perry of being a dirty cop. While he never used those exact words, it was clear he intended to paint Mickey Perry as an enabler that has kept local law enforcement corrupt and taking care of each other.
Wylie has clearly and repeatedly taken a side in the very public battle waged against the region’s law enforcement community.  But I never expected such a low blow from a person who should have some decency and common sense. I feel compelled to object — as vigorously as I can, as publicly as I can. I feel compelled to defend my friend Mickey Perry who lived an honorable life.
I have known John Wylie a number of years, and worked closely with him at times. There were times when I thought of him as a journalist, but over the last few months I have come to a different opinion.
Choosing a side in a public battle is almost unavoidable. And I can respect people who disagree with me. Everyone comes with their own point of view.
Regardless of which side of this dispute you identify most with, the 8,000 people who signed the petition or those who support the local officials who are named in it. You have to know that the questions asked in the petition are legitimate and absolutely require a fair and thorough vetting. Those of us who raised these questions have the experience to know that the situation in Rogers County has become dysfunctional and must be rectified for the public to be best served by their government.
John Wylie has chosen to vest himself in grossly distorting ‘facts’ and deceitful claims against one of the most honorable men I have ever known. Wylie never had the guts to make these claims while Mickey was alive to defend himself. 
I wish it were the case that John was just uninformed, but in his multitude of biased ‘news analysis’ columns, he readily claims to have read hundreds of pages of documents. That means to me that this posthumous character assassination is both intentional and calculated.
So many people knew, loved and respected Mickey Perry. They all knew the same Mickey Perry, he wasn’t different to different people. John Wylie just created a new Mickey Perry that never existed.
Wylie wants you to believe that Mickey’s words in a deposition taken 6 months ago, reveal a corrupt version of the man you always respected. 
Let’s be clear. There was never a corrupt version of Mickey Perry. This is a pathetic attempt to sway public opinion. It’s ridiculous. It’s absurd. It’s despicable. 
Scott Walton is the Rogers County sheriff.