Allegations Against Wagoner County Sheriff Prompt DA To Ask For Investigation
WAGONER COUNTY, Oklahoma - The district attorney is asking the State Bureau of Investigation to get involved after allegations against the Wagoner County sheriff arrived in packages sent anonymously to county commissioners.
The allegations fall into two categories: purchases approved by county commissioners that some wonder if they're the best use of tax payer, and, the more serious ones of taking guns and cash from the county.
Sheriff Bob Colbert denies all the allegations in the packet and said just having to defend himself is aggravating.
"We've been told who's behind it, a local attorney who's behind it. We've put a lot of his clients in jail, that's what it's all about," Colbert said.
The packet included invoices that showed $1,200 spent on hats with the sheriff's name on them and nearly $3,000 worth of commemorative coin, to be handed out to citizens.
Another complaint was the money spent to engrave the deputies' guns with the sheriff's name and department.
The sheriff said he didn't want his name on the guns, but lots of other agencies make the same purchases and they were all approved by the county commissioners.
The packet questioned spending $65,000 on a boat, but the sheriff said they've used it to catch thieves, recover stolen property and make rescues.
Another allegation says the sheriff took an AR-15 assault rifle from inventory, never returned it, then told an employee to take it off the inventory.
Colbert admitted they can't find it, but believes it happened when they switched from a paper inventory to a bar code system.
"I don't in my heart believe it was stolen or anything. It's here somewhere, somebody's got it," he said.
One allegation says he got $2,500 cash for drug buys but only used $700 for that purpose. He said that's not true.
Lori: "All the money taken out was used for drug buys."
Colbert: “Yes, not for anything else."
Colbert said other allegations, like using county money to put tires and a battery on his personal vehicle, are easy to disprove and he hopes the anonymous source making the allegations will have to answer for them.
The district attorney has a copy of the packet. They've reviewed it and plan to write a letter to the OSBI to investigate.
The sheriff said he welcomes an outside investigation.