Following an executive session Monday, the Board of County Commissioners voted to settle a 2017 civil matter involving former commissioner Mike Helm.
In executive session the commissioners discussed the case of Dee Ann Helm vs. Rogers County, and Mike Helm vs. Board of County Commissioners of Rogers County, both filed in 2017.
"These cases arise from the removal of Mr. Helm back in August of 2015 from the Board of County Commissioners. At the time of his removal, the county terminated his payment. He has sense brought this lawsuit to recover his unpaid salary and retirement benefits for the remainder of his term in office," Assistant District Attorney Todd Wagner said following executive session. "Upon discussion with counsel we have discussed this claim and have reached a proposed resolution whereby Mike Helm will receive his unpaid salary and retirement benefit for the remainder of his term—Aug. 2015 through Dec. 31, 2016."
Wagner said no settlement would be paid in the Dee Ann Helm case, and that the settlement for Mike Helm would settle both cases.
According to documents filed with the Supreme Court of Oklahoma and the Rogers County District Court. In the court of civil appeals for the state of Oklahoma, Chief Judge Jack Goree issued an opinion that stated:
"Micheal Earl Helm was suspended from his office as County Commissioner for Rogers County, Oklahoma. Afterward, he wrote a letter to the Board of County Commissioners of Rogers County demanding back pay and benefits from the date of the suspension. The Board denied his request. Helm commenced an action in Rogers County asking the district court to issue an alternative writ of mandamus requiring Board to pay his salary, benefits, and interest in the performance of it's duty…"
Judge Goree's opinion continued: "The Board argued Helm's claim is barred by the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act because he did not comply with its notice provisions. The trial court agreed and granted the Board's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Helm appealed. He argues the dismissal was erroneous…"