City Of Tulsa Employees Accused Of Embezzling From City
TULSA, Oklahoma - Two City of Tulsa employees are accused of embezzling from the city.
According to court records, investigators say Ronnie Smith is accused of embezzling more than $135,000 after he used a City of Tulsa credit card to buy items for himself over a four-year period.
A warrant has also been issued for Douglas Reinholtz. He's accused of embezzling more than $21,700 from the city.
The records show both Smith and Reinholtz were given cards to make purchases for the City of Tulsa Water and Sewer Department.
Jail records show Smith was booked on complaint of embezzlement by bailee. Reinholtz has not been arrested.
Tulsa deputies arrested Smith Tuesday morning and he is already out on bond.
The City released a statement saying:
"An investigation by Water & Sewer Department management uncovered fraudulent activity involving the falsification of invoices and statements by one employee and unsubstantiated purchases by another. As a result of the Department's investigation, the District Attorney today filed charges against former employees Ronnie D. Smith and Douglas Reinholtz. Smith is accused of falsifying statements and invoices related to purchases he made for his own personal gain. Reinholtz is accused of making purchases on City credit accounts for items the City never received.
"Mayor G.T. Bynum said: “These charges are the result of a months-long investigation. Additionally, I have asked City Auditor Cathy Criswell for a review of the internal controls, auditing procedures, and other measures in place to root out this activity. We will make sure those safeguards are as strong as they can possibly be going forward. There is no higher priority than protecting ratepayer funds and preserving the public trust. The City will pursue criminal prosecution of employees who breach that trust.”
"Bynum added, “We will not let the alleged actions of two individuals tarnish the reputation of the thousands of honest and dedicated City employees who serve the citizens of Tulsa every day with integrity.”
"The City terminated Smith's employment on May 12th. Smith had been employed as a Utility Systems Operations Administrator since May 23, 2005, and had been with the City of Tulsa since 1998.
"Reinholtz, a Water & Sewer supervisor since Oct. 16, 2003, retired on March 1, 2015, before his alleged activities were discovered."