Oilton's Mayor To Run Again Despite Embezzlement Charges
OILTON, Oklahoma - The Mayor of Oilton is running for another term despite facing felony charges of embezzlement and receiving kickbacks. A judge ruled there is enough evidence for Patrick Kennedy to go to trial. He's already pleaded not guilty.
The Creek County District Attorney's Office says Patrick Kennedy is within his right to run for public office because even though he's been charged with three felonies, he's not been convicted of one.
Patrick Kennedy has been Oilton's mayor the past 8 years.
"I have done a lot of stuff for the town, paving the roads and getting new water lines put in," said Kennedy.
Now he's running again - despite facing three felony charges.
"I do care about this town and I would never hurt the town- never," said Kennedy.
An affidavit says Kennedy is accused of embezzling more than one thousand dollars from the city. The affidavit also says Kennedy received almost $3,000 in kickbacks from city contractors. Kennedy says he is innocent and still the best person to serve the people of Oilton.
"I did what I was told that I could do by state departments ... and everything got approved so just small-town politics," said Kennedy.
Kenneth Graham says the charges against Kennedy are part of the reason he wants the town's top job.
"It is just not right. It wouldn't be right for our town to have an official like that in office," said Graham.
Graham says there are trust issues between elected officials and Oilton resident - a problem he hopes to do something about if he is elected.
"Through the input of people, our wonderful people of this town, we can make this town successful for many generations to come,” said Graham.
The Creek County election board says the acting mayor Steve Arnold is also running for the office. Arnold says the people of Oilton are looking for leadership.