Claremore Daily Progress

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May 18, 2014

Going once, going twice, not sold

Patrol car goes missing from county books

CLAREMORE — The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office is looking to reclaim a retired patrol car after discovering it was not sold at auction.

Rogers County Commissioner Mike Helm submitted the 1997 Ford Crown Victoria along with 13 other patrol vehicles on Jan. 21 to the board of county commissioners to be disposed of in March at the Circuit Engineering District Auction in Elk City.

 The board approved the request, signing the resolution submitted by Helm to sell the vehicle. The action removed the vehicle from the county’s inventory.   

However, the vehicle was not sold.

 Helm kept the vehicle, which was located this week by the Claremore Progress at the District 2 County Barn in Oologah.

The vehicle’s identification number, VIN is registered with the State of Oklahoma to the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office.

Helm declined to comment on the matter.

Rogers County Undersheriff John Sappington met with Helm when he discovered the items sold at the auction did not match inventory records.

Sappington provided audio of the meeting to the Claremore Daily Progress. At the time the vehicle had not been located.

Helm said Sappington’s math was wrong and “everything got sold except for a van, which did not sell.“

 Sappington said the vehicle was not included on the list of cars taken to auction. He questioned the $22,494 reimbursement from Helm to the sheriff’s office because it did not match records from the auction company.

Before the meeting Sappington emailed Helm the records and the vehicle identification number, VIN in an attempt to reconcile the accounts.

 Helm said that the car belonged to Rogers County Emergency Management.  

“Emergency Management… If you want their money we can give it to you,” Helm said.

“I am just trying to understand the discrepancy,” Sappington said.

 “If you will just retract your email… it is not a problem… I can get the Emergency Manager to transfer the money over,” Helm said.

 Sappington continued to question Helm about what happened, but Helm became agitated.

Helm said he spent approximately $14,000 to just get the cars ready to be auctioned.

“I am little insulted by it and I don’t play your games,” Helm said. “I am not very happy… You don’t appreciate it… But, I will look for you to appreciate it… Don’t play me like you do the others.”

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