Oklahoma's History of Corruption

History of Corruption Oklahoma

Special Note:  This list in NOT all inclusive.  If we have missed a corruption scandal, or you have information to include [edit requests] that should be included here, please contact us.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Scandal of the 1960s

The Oklahoma Supreme Court bribery scandal of the 1960s, often referred to as the "Nuyaka Creek Scandal," was a significant political and legal controversy in Oklahoma during that decade. The scandal involved allegations of corruption and bribery within the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

The scandal centered around several justices on the state's highest court, who were accused of accepting bribes and kickbacks from individuals and businesses with cases before the court. The bribes were said to have influenced the court's decisions, undermining the integrity of the judicial system in the state.

The scandal gained significant attention and resulted in multiple investigations, indictments, and legal proceedings. Several justices and prominent lawyers were implicated in the scandal, leading to their resignations, disbarments, and, in some cases, criminal convictions.

The Nuyaka Creek Scandal highlighted issues of corruption and unethical behavior within the state's legal and political systems. It had a lasting impact on the state's judiciary and led to calls for reforms to strengthen the ethical standards and accountability of judges and lawyers in Oklahoma.  The scandal involved several individuals, including justices on the state's highest court, prominent lawyers, and business figures. Some of the key subjects involved in the scandal included:

These individuals, among others, were at the center of the corruption. The scandal led to legal actions, including resignations, disbarments, and criminal convictions, which had a significant impact on the state's legal and political landscape.

Extortion & Bribery Conviction of former Gov. David Hall 1975

The 1975 extortion and bribery conviction of former Governor David Hall was a significant legal and political scandal in Oklahoma. David Hall, who served as the Governor of Oklahoma from 1971 to 1975, was convicted of extortion and bribery during his tenure.

The charges stemmed from allegations that Hall had accepted bribes and extorted money from companies seeking favorable state contracts and leases. Hall was accused of using his political influence and office to benefit himself financially.

In 1975, Hall was found guilty of federal charges of extortion, conspiracy, and accepting bribes. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison and fined for his role in the corruption scheme. This conviction effectively ended his political career, and he became the first Oklahoma governor to be convicted and imprisoned while in office.

The case exposed corruption within Oklahoma's political system and led to calls for increased accountability and ethics in government. David Hall's conviction had a lasting impact on the state's political landscape, serving as a cautionary tale about the consequences of public corruption.

The County Commissioner's Scandal Early 1980s

The public corruption scandal in Oklahoma in the early 1980s, often referred to as the "County Commissioner Scandal," was a massive and far-reaching case of corruption involving around 240 county commissioners and suppliers. These individuals were convicted or pleaded guilty to charges related to kickbacks and bribery.

The scandal revolved around a widespread practice where county commissioners, who were responsible for awarding contracts and purchases for their respective counties, received kickbacks from suppliers in exchange for awarding contracts. This corrupt scheme inflated the costs of goods and services, ultimately leading to a significant financial burden on taxpayers.

The investigation and prosecution of the corrupt county commissioners and suppliers led to a large number of convictions and guilty pleas. It marked one of the most extensive public corruption scandals in the state's history and highlighted the need for transparency and accountability in public procurement processes. The scandal ultimately resulted in reforms in county government practices and increased oversight to prevent similar corruption in the future.

The 1980s Oklahoma County Commissioners Scandal involved numerous individuals, and it would be challenging to list all of the 240+ players, as there were many involved in various capacities.  However, here are some notable figures and key players associated with the scandal:


These individuals, among many others, were central figures in the Oklahoma County Commissioners Scandal of the 1980s, which involved corruption, kickbacks, and bribery in county government and contracting processes.

Delaware County Sheriff Richard Messick Extortion & Racketeering 1987

In 1987, Delaware County Sheriff Richard Messick was embroiled in an extortion and racketeering scandal in Oklahoma. The scandal revolved around allegations that Sheriff Messick had engaged in criminal activities, including extortion and racketeering, during his time in office.

Sheriff Messick was accused of using his position to extort money from individuals and businesses in the county, essentially demanding payments in exchange for protection or favorable treatment. The racketeering charges stemmed from allegations of operating corrupt criminal enterprises within the county.

As a result of the scandal, Sheriff Richard Messick faced legal consequences, including charges related to extortion and racketeering. The case highlighted the importance of maintaining integrity and ethical conduct within law enforcement agencies and the legal repercussions for officials involved in criminal activities.

Campaign Violations of Gov. David Walters 1993

In 1993, Oklahoma Governor David Walters plead guilty to campaign violation charges. The case revolved around allegations that Walters had violated campaign finance laws during his 1990 gubernatorial campaign.

Walters admitted to making false statements on his campaign finance reports, concealing contributions, and exceeding campaign contribution limits. He acknowledged his involvement in illegal fundraising activities, which violated state campaign finance regulations.

As a result of his guilty plea, Walters was fined, placed on probation, and ordered to perform community service. This scandal tarnished his political career and had significant implications for his reputation and standing in Oklahoma politics. Walters' guilty plea highlighted the importance of transparency and adherence to campaign finance laws in the political process.

Bribery Conviction of Corporation Commissioner Bob Hopkins 1994 

In 1994, Oklahoma's Corporation Commissioner Bob Hopkins was convicted of bribery. The case centered on allegations that Hopkins had accepted bribes from companies and individuals in exchange for influencing decisions and actions within his regulatory role as Corporation Commissioner.

Hopkins was found guilty of receiving illegal payments and benefits from entities subject to his oversight, including utility and energy companies. The bribery conviction resulted in a prison sentence for Hopkins, underscoring the seriousness of public corruption within regulatory agencies.

The case served as a reminder of the importance of maintaining integrity and ethical conduct in government positions, particularly those responsible for regulating industries with a direct impact on the public. It also highlighted the legal consequences for public officials involved in bribery and corruption.

Craig County Sheriff Les Ogle Misconduct Scandal 1998

In 1998, Craig County Sheriff Les Ogle was involved in a misconduct scandal in Oklahoma. The scandal revolved around allegations of unethical behavior and misuse of his position as sheriff.

Sheriff Les Ogle faced accusations of misconduct, including allegations of misappropriation of county funds and unethical conduct while in office. The allegations raised concerns about the sheriff's financial practices and behavior, potentially undermining the public's trust in the office.

As a result of the scandal, Sheriff Ogle faced severe criticism, and the allegations prompted legal and disciplinary action. The case highlighted the importance of maintaining transparency, ethical conduct, and financial accountability within law enforcement agencies and public offices.

Blaine County Sheriff Harvey Burkhalter Embezzlement Scandal 1998

In 1998, Blaine County Sheriff Harvey Burkhalter was involved in an embezzlement scandal in Oklahoma. The scandal revolved around allegations that Sheriff Burkhalter had embezzled funds during his time in office.

Sheriff Burkhalter was accused of misappropriating county funds for his personal use, essentially diverting taxpayer money intended for the operation of the Blaine County Sheriff's Office. The embezzlement allegations raised significant concerns about financial mismanagement and the misuse of public resources within the law enforcement agency.

As a result of the scandal, Sheriff Harvey Burkhalter faced legal consequences, including charges related to embezzlement. This case underscored the importance of transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct within public office and law enforcement agencies, as well as the legal repercussions for officials involved in embezzlement and financial misconduct.

Beckham County Sheriff David Riggins Misappropriation Charges 2001

In 1998, Beckham County Sheriff David Riggins faced charges related to the misuse of public funds in Oklahoma. The scandal revolved around allegations that Sheriff Riggins had misappropriated county funds for personal use during his tenure as sheriff.

Sheriff Riggins was accused of improperly diverting taxpayer funds intended for the operation and expenses of the Beckham County Sheriff's Office for his personal benefit. The charges raised concerns about financial mismanagement and the misuse of public resources within the law enforcement agency.

As a result of the scandal, Sheriff David Riggins faced legal consequences, including charges related to the misuse of public funds. This case underscored the importance of financial transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct within public office and law enforcement agencies.

Federal Campaign Fraud of State Sen. Gene Stipe 2003

The Oklahoma Federal Campaign Fraud scandal involving State Senator Gene Stipe in 2003 was a significant political controversy. Gene Stipe, a prominent and long-serving Oklahoma legislator, was accused of being involved in a campaign fraud scheme that violated federal election laws.

Stipe and his associates were alleged to have made illegal campaign contributions to candidates, including contributions in the names of other individuals, which is illegal under federal election regulations. The scandal highlighted the improper manipulation of campaign finance laws to influence elections.

Stipe ultimately pleaded guilty to charges related to the illegal campaign contributions. He faced fines and probation as a result of his guilty plea. The scandal raised questions about the integrity of the campaign finance system and the role of influential political figures in potentially subverting election laws for their benefit.

Cherokee County Sheriff Norman Fisher Embezzlement 2003

In 2003, Cherokee County Sheriff Norman Fisher was involved in an embezzlement scandal in Oklahoma. The scandal revolved around allegations that Sheriff Fisher had embezzled funds during his time in office.

Sheriff Fisher was accused of misappropriating county funds for his personal use, essentially diverting taxpayer money intended for the operation of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. The embezzlement allegations raised significant concerns about financial mismanagement and the misuse of public resources within the law enforcement agency.

As a result of the scandal, Sheriff Norman Fisher faced legal consequences, including charges related to embezzlement. This case underscored the importance of transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct within public office and law enforcement agencies, as well as the legal repercussions for officials involved in embezzlement and financial misconduct.

Pittsburg County Sheriff Paul Abel Sexual Harassment Scandal 2004

In 2004, Pittsburg County Sheriff Paul Abel was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal in Oklahoma. The scandal revolved around allegations that Sheriff Abel had engaged in sexual harassment of employees within the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Abel was accused of creating a hostile work environment through inappropriate behavior and harassment, including making unwelcome sexual advances and comments towards female staff members. The allegations raised concerns about workplace misconduct and abuse of power within the law enforcement agency.

As a result of the scandal, Sheriff Paul Abel faced significant criticism, and the allegations prompted legal and disciplinary action. This case underscored the importance of maintaining a respectful and professional work environment within law enforcement agencies and the need for accountability when allegations of sexual harassment arise.

Texas County Sheriff Arnold Peoples Sexual Misconduct 2005

In 2005, Texas County Sheriff Arnold Peoples was embroiled in a scandal related to allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of power in Oklahoma. The scandal revolved around accusations that Sheriff Peoples had engaged in inappropriate behavior and the misuse of his authority as the county's top law enforcement officer.

Sheriff Peoples was accused of engaging in sexual misconduct and making inappropriate advances toward individuals, including subordinates and female inmates in his custody. These allegations raised concerns about the abuse of power, an unhealthy work environment, and a breach of trust within the Texas County Sheriff's Office.

The scandal prompted an investigation and legal action against Sheriff Arnold Peoples, focusing on the allegations of sexual misconduct and the abuse of power. This case underscored the importance of maintaining a professional and respectful work environment within law enforcement agencies and the consequences for officials involved in abusive conduct.

Okfuskee County Sheriff Jim Cook Drug Trafficking 2006

In 2006, Okfuskee County Sheriff Jim Cook faced drug-related charges in Oklahoma. The scandal revolved around allegations that Sheriff Cook was involved in illegal drug activities.

Sheriff Cook was accused of participating in drug-related crimes, which included illegal drug possession and potentially trafficking. Such allegations were particularly troubling given his role as a law enforcement officer responsible for upholding the law and ensuring public safety.

The scandal resulted in legal consequences for Sheriff Cook, including criminal charges related to the drug-related activities. It also raised serious questions about the integrity and ethics of law enforcement officials and the need for accountability within the criminal justice system.

Embezzlement & Bribery Scandal of Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher 2006 & 2009

The 2006 embezzlement scandal involving Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher was a significant case of public corruption and financial misconduct. Fisher, who held the office of Insurance Commissioner, was accused of embezzling funds and engaging in fraudulent activities related to his position.

Carroll Fisher, a former Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner, faced legal troubles in two separate cases:

These legal troubles and convictions highlighted issues of corruption and unethical behavior within the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Fisher's cases serve as reminders of the importance of maintaining ethical conduct and integrity in public office and the legal consequences for those involved in embezzlement and bribery.

Fisher was found guilty of embezzling money from the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association, where he served as the treasurer. He misappropriated these funds for personal use. Additionally, he was involved in other financial irregularities, including using campaign funds for personal expenses.

The scandal resulted in Fisher's resignation from his position as Insurance Commissioner and subsequent legal action. He was convicted on charges of embezzlement and other financial crimes, which led to a prison sentence. This case shed light on the need for transparency and accountability within public offices and the consequences of public officials engaging in financial misconduct.

Choctaw County Sheriff George Peal Convicted of Embezzlement 2007

In 2007, Choctaw County Sheriff George Peal was convicted of embezzlement in Oklahoma. The scandal centered around allegations that Sheriff Peal had misappropriated county funds for his personal use during his tenure as sheriff.

Sheriff Peal was accused of embezzling money intended for the operation of the Choctaw County Sheriff's Office, effectively diverting taxpayer funds for his own benefit. The embezzlement charges raised significant concerns about financial mismanagement and the misuse of public resources within the law enforcement agency.

As a result of the scandal, Sheriff George Peal was convicted of embezzlement. He faced legal consequences, including fines and the end of his career in law enforcement. The case underscored the importance of transparency and accountability in public office and the legal repercussions for officials involved in embezzlement and financial misconduct.

Corruption Conviction of State Auditor & Inspector Jeff McMahan 2008

In 2008, the then-State Auditor and Inspector of Oklahoma, Jeff McMahan, faced a corruption conviction. McMahan, along with his wife, Lori McMahan, was found guilty of corruption-related charges.

The case centered around allegations that the McMahans had accepted illegal contributions, gifts, and favors from companies and individuals who had business with the state of Oklahoma. These contributions were believed to have influenced Jeff McMahan's official actions as State Auditor and Inspector.

Both Jeff McMahan and his wife were convicted on federal corruption charges, including conspiracy and receiving illegal gratuities. Jeff McMahan was sentenced to prison and fined, and he faced the end of his political career and reputation. The case underscored the importance of maintaining transparency and ethical standards in public office and the consequences for public officials involved in corruption.

Ottawa County Sheriff Kenny Freeman Public Intoxication 2009

In 2009, Ottawa County Sheriff Kenny Freeman was involved in a public intoxication scandal in Oklahoma. The scandal centered around allegations that Sheriff Freeman had been arrested and charged with public intoxication, reflecting an incident where he was found to be visibly intoxicated in public.

The incident undermined the public's trust in Sheriff Freeman's ability to perform his law enforcement duties while maintaining appropriate behavior and professionalism. It also raised questions about his judgment and the image he projected as the county's top law enforcement officer.

While the incident did not lead to his removal from office, it had a significant impact on his reputation and raised concerns about his fitness for duty as the Ottawa County Sheriff.

Jackson County Sheriff Eddie Shannon Theft & Embezzlement 2009

In 2009, Jackson County Sheriff Eddie Shannon was embroiled in a scandal related to theft and embezzlement in Oklahoma. The scandal revolved around allegations that Sheriff Shannon had engaged in theft and embezzlement activities during his tenure as the county's top law enforcement officer.

Sheriff Shannon was accused of misappropriating public funds and property, essentially stealing taxpayer money and county resources intended for the operation of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. The theft and embezzlement allegations raised significant concerns about financial mismanagement and the misuse of public resources within the law enforcement agency.

As a result of the scandal, Sheriff Eddie Shannon faced legal consequences, including charges related to theft and embezzlement. This case underscored the importance of transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct within public office and law enforcement agencies and highlighted the legal repercussions for officials involved in financial misconduct.

Okmulgee Sheriff Eddy Rice Convicted for Accepting Bribes 2009

In 2009, Okmulgee County Sheriff Eddy Rice faced a bribery scandal that led to his conviction. Sheriff Rice was accused of accepting bribes while in office, which involved engaging in corrupt practices that compromised the integrity of his role as a law enforcement officer.

The bribery scandal revolved around allegations that Sheriff Rice had accepted illegal payments and benefits in exchange for providing special privileges and favors to individuals, including inmates in the county jail. These actions violated the public's trust and highlighted concerns about corruption and unethical conduct within the Okmulgee County Sheriff's Office.

As a result of the scandal, Sheriff Eddy Rice was convicted of bribery-related charges. He faced legal consequences and the end of his career in law enforcement. The case served as a reminder of the importance of maintaining the highest ethical standards within law enforcement agencies and the legal repercussions for those involved in bribery and corruption.

Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel Jail Scandal Early 2010s

Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel was embroiled in a jail scandal during his tenure in the early 2010s. The scandal revolved around allegations of poor conditions, mismanagement, and inmate deaths within the Oklahoma County Jail.

Reports indicated that the jail was overcrowded and faced issues related to inadequate healthcare, safety, and overall living conditions for inmates. Additionally, a series of inmate deaths raised concerns about the quality of care and oversight within the facility.

Sheriff Whetsel faced criticism for the conditions at the jail and the high number of inmate deaths during his time in office. The scandal led to legal actions, including lawsuits against the county and the sheriff's office. It underscored the challenges of managing and maintaining safe and humane conditions within correctional facilities and the need for accountability in the treatment of inmates.

Pottawatomie Sheriff Mike Booth Embezzlement Scandal 2010

In 2010, Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth was involved in an embezzlement scandal. The scandal revolved around allegations that Sheriff Booth had embezzled money from the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office during his tenure.

Sheriff Booth was accused of misappropriating county funds for personal use, effectively stealing taxpayer money intended for the operation of the sheriff's department. The embezzlement allegations raised significant concerns about fiscal mismanagement and the misuse of public funds within the law enforcement agency.

The scandal resulted in legal action against Sheriff Booth, who was convicted of embezzlement. As a result, he faced consequences such as fines and the end of his career in law enforcement. The case highlighted the importance of transparency and accountability in public office and the consequences for officials involved in embezzlement and financial misconduct.

Sequoyah County Sheriff Sam Lock Bribery & Conspiracy 2010

In 2010, Sequoyah County Sheriff Sam Lock faced legal trouble when he was indicted on charges of bribery and conspiracy in Oklahoma. The scandal revolved around allegations that Sheriff Lock had engaged in corrupt practices and conspiracy during his tenure as the county's sheriff.

Sheriff Lock was accused of accepting bribes and participating in a conspiracy to engage in unlawful activities. The charges indicated that he had violated the trust of his office by engaging in corrupt practices that compromised the integrity of law enforcement in Sequoyah County.

As a result of the indictment, Sheriff Sam Lock faced legal consequences and the possibility of a trial related to the charges of bribery and conspiracy. This case highlighted the need for ethical conduct and accountability within law enforcement agencies and the legal repercussions for officials involved in corruption.

Sex Slave Ring Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess 2012

$10 million settlement in a lawsuit involving female prisoners who were subjected to rampant sexual abuse. 

A federal suit filed on behalf of 14 female prisoners at the Custer County Jail (CCJ) charged that former Sheriff Mike Burgess operated a sex-slave ring that consisted of Burgess using prisoners or people under the supervision of a drug court to commit sex acts for his own gratification.

The female inmates endured abuses and sexual harassment at what seemed to be every turn.  The details of the depth and depravity of Burgess' Sheriff administration can be read here.

Logan County Sheriff Jim Bauman Sexual Misconduct Scandal 2013

In 2013, Logan County Sheriff Jim Bauman was involved in a scandal related to allegations of inappropriate relationships with female inmates under his custody. Sheriff Bauman was accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with female prisoners, which is a serious breach of law enforcement ethics and conduct.

The scandal raised significant concerns about the abuse of power and misconduct within the Logan County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Bauman faced severe criticism, and the allegations undermined public trust in the department.

In the wake of the scandal, Sheriff Jim Bauman resigned from his position, and he faced both legal and professional consequences for his actions. This case highlighted the importance of maintaining ethical standards and professionalism within law enforcement agencies and the need for accountability when such standards are breached.

Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess Embezzlement Scandal 2015

In 2015, Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess became embroiled in an embezzlement scandal. The scandal revolved around allegations that Sheriff Burgess had misappropriated county funds for personal use during his time in office.

Sheriff Burgess faced charges related to embezzlement, stemming from instances where he had used county funds for personal expenses and failed to properly account for the money. The embezzlement accusations raised significant concerns about the misuse of public funds and the lack of financial oversight within the sheriff's department.

The scandal resulted in legal action against Sheriff Burgess, and he was convicted of embezzlement. This led to his removal from office and emphasized the importance of maintaining transparency and accountability within law enforcement agencies and local government offices.

Custer County Sheriff Jerry Niles Manslaughter Charges 2016

In 2016, Custer County Sheriff Jerry Niles faced manslaughter charges in Oklahoma. The charges stemmed from the death of an inmate under his custody, which resulted in allegations of negligence and misconduct within the Custer County Jail.

Sheriff Jerry Niles and several jail employees were accused of failing to provide adequate medical care and attention to a female inmate who died while in custody. The inmate, Kelsey Ray Smith, had suffered from medical issues, and the jail staff's failure to provide appropriate care led to her tragic death.

The manslaughter charges highlighted concerns about the responsibilities of law enforcement officials to ensure the safety and well-being of inmates within correctional facilities. The case also underscored the legal consequences that public officials can face when their actions or negligence result in a loss of life. Sheriff Niles faced legal consequences, including criminal charges related to manslaughter, in connection with the inmate's death.

Love County Sheriff Joe Russell Corruption & Drug Related Crimes 2016

In 2016, Love County Sheriff Joe Russell was arrested on drug-related charges in Oklahoma. The arrest of Sheriff Russell was a significant and controversial event, as he held a prominent law enforcement position at the time.

The specific details of the case indicated that Sheriff Russell was arrested on allegations of corruption and drug-related activities. He was accused of involvement in a drug trafficking operation, which included activities such as protecting drug shipments and receiving bribes in exchange for assisting drug traffickers.  Russell is also allegedly connected to the cover-up following the 2013 disappearance of two young people, Molly Miller & Colt Haynes, who were last seen with Russell's nephew Con Nipp during a police chase that Russell called off.   Molly & Colt are still missing and OSBI considers the case cold.

The arrest and subsequent legal proceedings highlighted a case of public corruption within law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Sheriff Joe Russell's arrest underscored the importance of maintaining the highest standards of integrity and accountability within law enforcement agencies. It was a significant and concerning incident that drew public attention and led to Russell's resignation and ultimately a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of public corruption.

Love County is part of District 20's  "Carnival of Corruption".

Carter County Sheriff Milton Anthony Bribery and Sexual Misconduct 2016

Carter County Sheriff Milton Anthony resigned and pleaded guilty to a felony bribery count in district court in November of 2016.  A female sheriff's office employee alleged that she was exchanging sex with the Sheriff in exchange for keeping her and her husband employed at the sheriff's office.

In exchange for his guilty plea, the state dropped a felony sexual battery count in a separate incident. He was sentenced to two years unsupervised probation and forced to forfeit his CLEET license.  Chris Bryant took over as Carter County Sheriff upon Anthony's resignation.

Carter County is part of District 20's  "Carnival of Corruption".

Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel Embezzlement Investigation 2016

Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetzel "retired" amid an investigation led by then DA David Prater and allegations of the mismanagement of funds and unpaid bills to the county jail’s medical provider.  An audit was preformed and found the sheriff’s office intentionally stopped paying the medical provider.  The audit concluded that the sheriff’s office did not expend all taxpayer funds in a lawful manner.  Whetzel retired in 2017 while the investigation was ongoing.  

Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz Misconduct Charges 2017

In 2017, Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz was embroiled in a scandal that ultimately led to his resignation. The scandal revolved around allegations of misconduct and mismanagement during his tenure as sheriff.

One of the most significant incidents contributing to the scandal was the fatal shooting of Eric Harris, an unarmed black man, by a volunteer reserve deputy named Robert Bates in 2015. It was revealed that Bates had received preferential treatment and inadequate training, which raised questions about the sheriff's administration and accountability.

Sheriff Glanz faced accusations of failing to release information about Bates' qualifications and involvement in the incident. This lack of transparency fueled public outrage and led to protests and calls for his resignation.

Ultimately, Sheriff Stanley Glanz resigned in November 2015 amid mounting pressure and the impending investigation into the department's operations. The scandal highlighted concerns about the management and accountability within the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office and the need for transparency in law enforcement.

Nowata County Sheriff Kenny Freeman Embezzlement Charges 2017

In 2017, Nowata County Sheriff Kenny Freeman was embroiled in an embezzlement scandal in Oklahoma. The scandal revolved around allegations that Sheriff Freeman had embezzled funds and used inmates for personal work during his tenure as sheriff.

Sheriff Freeman was accused of misappropriating county funds for his personal use, essentially diverting taxpayer money intended for the operation of the Nowata County Sheriff's Office. The embezzlement allegations raised significant concerns about financial mismanagement and the misuse of public resources within the law enforcement agency.

As a result of the scandal, Sheriff Kenny Freeman faced legal consequences, including charges related to embezzlement. The case underscored the importance of transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct within public office and law enforcement agencies, as well as the legal repercussions for officials involved in embezzlement and financial misconduct.

Grady County Commissioner accused of recording employees, intimidating witnesses 2022

FOX25 Reported: Commissioner Michael Walker and his assistant, Neal Locke, were arrested on charges of conspiracy and unlawful use of communications.

Court documents show Michael Walker recorded certain employees inside the Grady County District 1 Maintenance Building. One employee who was targeted was told a recording device was actually a motion detector, court documents allege.

Court documents show the camera recorded two specific employees from March 2021 to December 2021. Both employees were fired at the end of December.

On December 3, a search warrant was executed by law enforcement who obtained the recording device. The OSBI agent in charge of the warrant's execution learned that Walker and Locke were "bragging" to employees about how the OSBI missed the hidden portable audio recorder that was placed inside the Maintenance building, according to court documents.

Walker was arrested in May 2021 on a charge of embezzlement. OSBI agents say Walker embezzled thousands of dollars in county funds to make improvements to the private road he lives on.

Walker was released on his own recognizance shortly after his arrest and has kept his job as county commissioner since.

Among the new charges filed for Walker are a charge of intimidating witnesses.


The Mustang Times Reported this update in November of 2023:

Instead of six felony counts, Walker was convicted of a single misdemeanor: Willfully Disturbing, Interfering, Disrupting County Business.

The conviction comes with a five-year deferred sentence. During that time, Walker is ordered to have no contact with the victims, and he is restricted from holding any public office until October 26, 2028.

His co-defendant in the case was Neal Locke, who recently ran unopposed for the City of Minco’s Chief of Police election. Locke has not accepted the plea deal.

With felony charges still pending, and with the advice of Minco City Attorney Bryce Kennedy, the City of Minco chose not to swear Locke in.

Seminole County Sheriff Shannon Smith Enters into Deferred Prosecution Agreement 2023

On August 23, 2022, Sheriff Shannon Smith of Seminole County was forced to resign as part of  a deferred prosecution agreement he agreed to with the Oklahoma Attorney General's office amidst an investigation and audit into the county's inmate trust fund. 

Additionally, he agreed to not work in any law enforcement capacity for a period of two years, request his CLEET license be suspended for two years, and pay restitution in the amount of $2, 566.00 in exchange for the State of Oklahoma not filing criminal charges for misappropriation of funds.

NonDoc Media covered the story here.

McCurtain County, Oklahoma audio recording scandal 2023 

The 2023 McCurtain County, Oklahoma audio recording scandal was a political scandal in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, in which multiple county officials (Sheriff Kevin Clardy, Commissioner Mark Jennings, Investigator Alicia Manning, and Jail Administrator Larry Hendrix) were revealed to have made controversial remarks in an audio recording released in April 2023.

The audio included highly racist remarks and discussion of the murder and disposal of local journalists.  The Oklahoma Attorney General's office, OSBI and the FBI both opened investigations.  As of June 2023, the Oklahoma Attorney General officially closed their investigation and found no legal grounds to dismiss McCurtain County Sheriff Kevin Clardy.

Cotton County commissioner Micah “Mike” Woods removal from office 2023

As reported in the Lawton Constitution [here], Cotton County Commissioner, Micah wood's removal from office was recommended after a grand jury investigation found allegations of embezzlement and abuse of office warranted removal actions to be filed by a district court judge.  District Attorney, Kyle Cabelka, lead the grand jury.  If Woods opposes the allegations, the issue will be set for civil jury trial in 2024.  Woods is also facing criminal charges for embezzlement.