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July 30, 2013

Judge approves grand jury petition

OWASSO —

On Monday, a Tulsa judge said a petition to impanel a grand jury to look into alleged criminal activity by former Owasso City Manager Rodney Ray is “sufficient to warrant further proceedings.”
Judge William C. Kellough’s order said the petition contains “a reasonable specific identification of areas to be inquired into,” and “sufficient general allegations to warrant a finding that such inquiry may lead to information which, if true, would warrant a true bill of indictment.”
Filed by former City of Owasso employee and head of the Owasso Taxpayer Alliance, J.B. Alexander, and Tulsa attorney Christopher Camp, the petition accuses Ray and others of dozens of criminal and corrupt acts, including destruction of public records, destruction of evidence, bribery, racketeering and election law violations. 
It states, “It is believed that these offenses were committed in, related to, or resulting from the actions of former Owasso City Manager Rodney Ray and his political allies and certain business transactions between former Owasso City Manager Rodney Ray, Owasso City Councilor Wayne Guevara, The First Bank of Owasso, The Owasso Land Trust, and other businesses and financial institutions in a position to profit from Ray’s favorable handling of their transactions with the Owasso City Government.”
Now, 5,000 Tulsa County residents must sign the petition within the 45-day time frame in order for it to proceed.
On May 24, the city council placed Ray on paid administrative leave pending an investigation of an employee complaint against his office.
Ray resigned as city manager, a position he held for nearly 23 years, in June. The council approved a resignation agreement worth $185,073 by a 4-1 vote.
The stipulations regarding the severance were outlined in Ray’s contract that has had the same provisions for many years, according to Councilor Jeri Moberly. The council reviews and renews the contract every two years.
Ray faces criminal charges in connection with an alleged bogus check and the false reporting of a crime. He has pleaded not guilty and a preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 30 in Tulsa County District Court.

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