Claremore Daily Progress

October 20, 2012

Commissioners to take action regarding Helm’s finances

Salesha Wilken
Staff Writer

CLAREMORE —  

Rogers County Commissioner Kirt Thacker is looking for some additional oversight regarding Commissioner Mike Helm’s spending. 
Thacker has placed an item on the agenda for Monday’s meeting that will do just that if approved. 
Helm will no longer have the freedom to spend money in his district.
Thacker and Commissioner Dan DeLozier will be taking control of District 2 finances and Helm will have to get direct approval before allocating funds.
The action may have been prompted by recent reports of questionable accounting practices by Helm.
These reports include findings by Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones and the Oklahoma Ethics Commission campaign finance reports.
To complicate matters, the issues include invoice splitting, vendor contributions to both parties and campaign funds, dumping pollutants near the Verdigris River and double dipping of FEMA funds.
When interviewed about the issues Helm offered no explanation of the issues and often times said, “I was not aware if the statute.”
Additionally, a recent legal opinion issued by the District Attorney’s office states Helm did not follow state statutes when purchasing materials from Maxwell Supply in Tulsa.
It has not been determined if Helm’s actions were illegal or unethical as the information continues to surface.
Many of the documents that detail Helm’s actions were received via email through the Open Records Act.
The meeting will be held Monday at 9 a.m. at the Rogers County Courthouse.