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Tulsa Mayoral Candidate Accuses 2 Opponents Of Misusing Tax Dollars

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Wednesday, candidate Bill Christiansen accused opponents Dewey Bartlett and Kathy Taylor of misusing tax dollars. Wednesday, candidate Bill Christiansen accused opponents Dewey Bartlett and Kathy Taylor of misusing tax dollars.
The Bartlett campaign called those accusations false. The Bartlett campaign called those accusations false.
Christiansen also wants Kathy Taylor to explain why the city paid to buy out her neighbor's home when she was mayor in 2007, after the home flooded. Christiansen also wants Kathy Taylor to explain why the city paid to buy out her neighbor's home when she was mayor in 2007, after the home flooded.
The Taylor campaign denies any wrongdoing and says the purchase may have been completed while Taylor was mayor, but she had nothing to do with it or the decision behind it. The Taylor campaign denies any wrongdoing and says the purchase may have been completed while Taylor was mayor, but she had nothing to do with it or the decision behind it.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Less than two weeks until Tulsa's mayoral election, and the political jabs are ramping up. Wednesday, candidate Bill Christiansen accused opponents Dewey Bartlett and Kathy Taylor of misusing tax dollars.

Christiansen says both Mayor Bartlett and former Mayor Taylor have abused their power, while in office. But those campaigns say Christiansen is just throwing mud to get attention.

"He [Bartlett] spent almost $50,000 of taxpayer money, in my opinion, to use it as a political stunt," Christiansen said.

Now, the former city councilor is demanding Mayor Bartlett return the nearly $50,000 spent on a recent survey sent to Tulsans.

Last week, Bartlett was hit with an ethics complaint, accusing him of campaigning with taxpayer dollars. Critics say the letter attached to the survey outlines Bartlett's leadership and accomplishments.

The city is reviewing the complaint, filed by Christiansen supporter and former Republican candidate for city council, Steven Roemerman, but Christiansen said even the appearance of impropriety is against the city ethics code.

Read Steven Roemerman's blog about the complaint

5/23/2013 Related Story: Tulsa Citizen Files Ethics Complaint Against Mayor Dewey Bartlett

"At least, he should send a thank you note to every citizen of Tulsa for contributing to his campaign," Christiansen said.

The Bartlett campaign called those accusations false in a statement to News On 6:

"Former City Councilor Bill Christiansen is at it again creating conflict and division, and we're not surprised. We've heard Christiansen's false accusation about the citizen survey before so this is obviously a political stunt by Christiansen to gain some new traction. Most of Christiansen's other assertions have already been dismissed by Governor Fallin and found baseless by Attorney General Scott Pruitt. For Christiansen to continue to slander a good man, Dewey Bartlett, and fabricate lies for political gain is distasteful and an example of his own lack of character. As former Councilor Christiansen gets more desperate, we anticipate he will continue using AFL-CIO union tactics to deceive voters and muddy the election."

Christiansen also wants Kathy Taylor to explain why the city paid to buy out her neighbor's home when she was mayor in 2007, after the home flooded.

A resident wrote a letter, blaming the construction of Taylor's home for the problem.

Read the citizen's letter

"Come forward, be transparent, let the citizens of Tulsa know exactly what happened here," Christiansen said. "I'm sure it's all bonifide, but this gentleman raises some real concerns."

The Taylor campaign denies any wrongdoing and says the purchase may have been completed while Taylor was mayor, but she had nothing to do with it or the decision behind it.

The Public Works Director at the time says the 29th and Delaware area had chronic flooding before Taylor's home was built. Charles Hardt says during the construction of Taylor's home, the city built a detention pond and storm sewers nearby that reduced flooding in the area.

When the neighbor's home still flooded, the engineering department looked at its options and decided the most cost-effective choice was for the city to buy the flooded home and tear it down.

Hardt said it's just one of the 1,500 homes the city bought during his 30 years on the job.

We have sent off an Open Records request to get all the documents involved in the city's purchase of that home in 2007.

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