Five days after he filed a complaint about the validity of the Rogers County 1-cent sales tax election, a criminal complaint has been filed against county taxpayer Myron Grubowski, alleging he threatened county officials.
Grubowski filed his complaint May 16 with the Rogers County Election Board and Rogers County Clerk’s office, asserting the county failed to properly publish legal notice of the election. Twelve days later, Rogers County Commissioners unanimously voted to nullify the election and set a new vote on Aug. 13.
On May 21, the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office was contacted about a threat that was allegedly made by Grubowski in the County Clerk’s office on May 16.
At this time, no charges have been filed against Grubowski.
Deputy Cory Lawhorn met with Rogers County Clerk Robin Anderson and her employee Shirley Shields, interviewing them about the alleged incident. According to the deputies’ report, at approximately 3:10 p.m. on May 16, Grubowski entered the clerk’s office to file a document.
“Anderson said, while he was at the counter he pointed at County Commissioner Mike Helm and Anderson who were sitting in Anderson’s office and said ‘would you like to see their heads blown off’,” according to the report.
Shields then reported that she looked down to see if he had a gun and Grubowski patted his right hip, the report states.
She said she noticed a black case hooked to Grubowski’s belt and that she did not know if it was a gun or cell phone. Grubowski then left the office, according to the report.
“I asked Anderson for witnesses and she said there was none,” Lawhorn wrote in his report.
“Anderson said that she did already talk to Assistant District Attorney David Iski and he suggested she file a report due to threats.”
Lawhorn later contacted Grubowski for a statement.
Grubowski said he was in the Sheriff’s Office that afternoon visiting with Sheriff Scott Walton on an unrelated topic when Lawhorn informed him of the complaint.
“I was shocked that an allegation was made,” Grubowski said. “I did not threaten anyone.”
Grubowski said he made a smart remark about how Anderson and Helm would be angry about the paperwork that their heads may spin like Chucky (referencing the 1990’s film series ‘Child’s Play’ otherwise known as Chucky), but no threats were made to anyone.
“I did not even speak to Anderson or Helm,” Grubowski said. “I even waved hello to them.”
Deputies assigned to courthouse security confirmed that no request for assistance was made on May 16 by the clerk’s office.
They stated that they did not even know about the incident until after the report was filed the following week.
The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the assistance of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation in the matter and turned the investigation over to them Wednesday.
Grubowski claims the report was made in an attempt to intimidate him because of his election complaint, stating that he felt pressure to drop the issue to allow the election to be certified.
“Several comments have been made to me about the complaint including one man yelling at me on the street saying ‘I may have saved taxpayers $30 million, but I will sit in jail for it’” he said.
Grubowski said he faxed a letter to District Judge Dwayne Steidley requesting the hearing be canceled.
During Tuesday’s hearing before Judge Steidley, Grubowski told the court “I was in distress.”
The judge recessed the hearing, pending the action of the Rogers County commissioners, who nullified the election, making Grubowski’s complaint a moot point, according to Judge Steidley; however, the judge allowed him to voice his concerns to the court.
During the hearing, Grubowski said he filed the election complaint to prevent the county from the liability of another multi-million dollar lawsuit.
“Five days later, in retaliation, I believe the county may have filed a complaint against me to try and quash my testimony here.” Grubowski said during the hearing.
He wanted the elected officials to be accountable to the state statutes and taxpayers, such as himself to be free of the burden of another lawsuit.
“I was acting in good faith as a taxpayer,” Grubowski said. “I think we have had enough litigation in this county.”
Judge Steidley referred to the issue as “political” and something that needs to be addressed with the commissioners.
“I was asserting my rights as a taxpayer of Rogers County,” Grubowski said. “I think we need to find out what is really going on.”
“I understand where you are coming from and if I were in your shoes, I would probably be saying the same thing you are saying,” Judge Steidley said.
The question for the court is to determine if the commissioners can nullify the election and they have that authority, he added.
After the hearing, Grubowski said he understands that people recognize that he has upset the status quo and that he will continue to work with law enforcement regarding the complaint.
He said he believes he has cause to seek legal action against the officials that have filed the complaint and will be speaking to legal counsel.
Anderson, Shields and Helm were contacted for comment and no response was provided as of press time.