Claremore Daily Progress

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January 10, 2013

New Year, Same Old Biz - Helm takes possession of equipment 3 weeks before PO okayed

CLAREMORE — Rogers County Commissioner Mike Helm continues to work around state statutes concerning proper purchasing procedures, despite recent warnings from First Assistant District Attorney Ben Loring.

Loring cautioned Helm to adhere to state statutes in a statement issued in November 2012 as part of an ongoing investigation by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
The latest issue concerns the purchase of a Schwarze Roadpatcher for $188,600 from Frontier Equipment in Yukon.
Helm acquired the equipment in December 2012 and numerous questions continue to surround the documentation of the purchase that is set for final approval next week.
The equipment cannot be purchased by the county until the commissioners sign the purchase order, yet despite this requirement Helm has already taken possession of the equipment.
Helm stated during Monday’s meeting that he took possession of the vehicle on December 11.
However, the delivery receipt provided and issued by Frontier Equipment is dated December 14. 
The purchase order issued for the roadpatcher is dated Dec. 17.
Essentially, Helm took possession of the equipment without prior encumbrance of funds by Rogers County District 2, according to the documentation.
This is a violation of state purchasing procedures according to Title 19 of the Oklahoma State Statutes.
Additionally, the equipment is currently being stored inside the District 2 barn, yet the county has not been issued insurance for the equipment, due to lack of ownership.
According to representatives from Frontier Equipment, the county assumed full responsibility for the machine upon delivery. Warranty documents were transferred to the county on Dec. 17.
“The equipment is no longer insured,” according to Frontier staff. “We have insurance upon delivery and as soon as it was delivered the insurance was canceled.” 
The company then refused to comment further on the purchase.
Issues regarding documentation began weeks before the item was brought before the board of county commissioners on Monday.

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