Claremore Daily Progress

Top Stories

February 27, 2007

Can felons work for county government?

CLAREMORE — Assistant District Attorney Barry Farbro told County commissioners that convicted felons should be prohibited from county employment based on interpretation of state law by the District Attorney’s office.

That’s the local opinion.

Due to the “potential far-reaching effect of this interpretation,” District Attorney Gene Haynes is referring the matter to the Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General. The impact could affect all 77 counties, statewide.

The District Attorney's office felt “very comfortable” according to Farbro, in issuing legal opinions in two specific situations regarding county employment of convicted felons:

1. Any elected official or employee who has committed a crime during their employment or who is still serving a portion of their sentence whether in the form of jail time or a deferred sentence is not eligible for employment.

2. Regarding employees who have paid their debt to society and been discharged from the Department of Corrections system, the DA’s office recommended commissioners “take no action at this time.” This decision relates to public, not private, employment of felons.

According to Haynes, the State Attorney General’s office may choose not to rule on the matter. If he does not, the matter will revert back to Hayne’s office. If that happens, Haynes’ interpretation of the State Statutes will call for any county employee who has a standing felony record to be terminated whether or not they have been discharged by the DOC.

Haynes said this employment issue has the “potential to be wide reaching” and that he believes it “needs to be cleared up legislatively” due to some contradictions and ambiguities in current law. Much of the legislation targets elected officials but does include employees. The primary source for Haynes’ interpretation is based on Title 51 Section 24.1.

Recent attention focused by Oologah Lake Leader Publisher John Wylie on District 2 county employee Scott Casler was one of the catalysts which brought this matter to the attention of the Board of Commissioners. Casler, an admitted felon who was discharged by DOC on Nov. 4, 2003, will be affected regardless of the Attorney General’s opinion. Casler’s state DOC file is inactive, meaning he has served his time and had completed probation by Nov.4, 2003.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • bridge work continues Portion of 4180 Road remains closed for completion of bridge work
    A portion of 4180 Road will remain closed through at least Thursday as workers complete a bridge widening project on the south end of Claremore Lake.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rogers County Audit:
    A recent report issued by Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones documented Rogers County Clerk Robin Anderson solicited donations from several Rogers County vendors.

    April 20, 2014

  • Students paint mural Catoosa High School artists paint mural to instill respect, inspiration

    Catoosa High School students, Devin Jackson and Spencer Plumlee, recently put the finishing touches on a mural that took more than a year to complete. 

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local attorneys fight to eliminate judgment

    Claremore attorneys — Thomas H. Williams and Jack E. Gordon Jr. —   filed a petition Tuesday to vacate the $27.9 million judgment awarded to Material Service Corp. 

    April 18, 2014

  • Rogers County Water Dist. 16 receives grant

    Rogers County Rural Water District No. 16 received a $24,999 grant Tuesday to help finance expansion of the district’s water supply infrastructure.  

    April 18, 2014

  • Grand Jury recesses until June 24

    The multicounty grand jury charged with investigating accusations of misconduct by Rogers County officials recessed Thursday until June 24-26, saying it needed to hear from more witnesses before returning a finding in the matter.

    April 17, 2014

  • Harps Food opens new store in Inola

    On April 23, Harps Food Stores will reach a new milestone in their company’s history with the opening of its 75th store. 

    April 17, 2014

  • helping children Tri-County CASA seeks additional volunteers as child abuse cases increase

    From 2010-2013, Oklahoma has seen an increase in children entering foster care. According to Oklahoma Department of Human Services reports, approximately 11,000 children are in state’s custody because of child abuse or neglect — 4,000 in the Tulsa area alone and more than 100 in Rogers County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judge refuses to dismiss Grubowski in DA suit

    A judge has denied businessman Myron Grubowski's motion to remove him from the defamation lawsuit filed by District Attorney Janice Steidley against sponsors of last fall's unsuccessful citizens petition for a local grand jury investigation of her  office.

    April 17, 2014

  • Controversial schools chief attracts crowd of opponents

    The field of candidates running for state school superintendent is unusually large — a sign of broad interest in what observers say is sure to be a referendum on the incumbent, Dr. Janet Barresi.

    April 17, 2014