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June 15, 2014

Thacker, Sheriff clash over investigation

CLAREMORE —

A dispute has emerged from a 2011 investigation into Rogers County Commissioner Kirt Thacker’s use of county equipment to build a pond on private property.
Thacker claims Sheriff Scott Walton violated his Constitutional rights when investigating the alleged misuse of county equipment. 
The commissioner made the accusations during the weekly commissioner meeting Monday, instead of addressing questions concerning his possession of the sheriff’s surveillance camera for the past two years.
“A clear violation of the 4th Amendment of the Constitution, illegal search,” Thacker said. “…But if you want the camera now that it is public I will be happy to return it to you. It is in good shape.”
Commissioner Dan DeLozier listed the item on the agenda in an effort to resolve it prior to the release of the 2013 Oklahoma State Auditor’s report, which could be released as early as this week.
Thacker turned the topic from the inventory question focusing on the purchase of the camera. He said a purchase order made out to Smart Scouter was cancelled in November of 2011. He claimed the item was not listed on the sheriff’s inventory and accused Walton’s office of paying for the camera’s surveillance service without possession, a possible violation of state law.
“I can’t find a single purchase order that says the sheriff’s office actually bought it,” Thacker said.
“I don’t know where you think it came from. We did not go to Wal-Mart and boost it,” Walton said. 
Undersheriff Jon Sappington said a purchase order was put into place according to purchasing procedures. However, the company failed to issue an invoice and after a year the county clerks office cancelled the purchase order.
Public records provided by Sappington verified the purchase order was cancelled and the cost of the camera was $462.98, eliminating the requirement for the item to be listed on inventory records.

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