Embezzlement Allegations Political Attack, Says Nowata County Sheriff

Wednesday, October 17th 2018, 5:35 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

The Nowata County Sheriff was arrested Wednesday on complaints of embezzlement. 

The sheriff, Kenny Freeman, said he believes his arrest is a political attack.

10/17/2018 Related Story: Nowata County Sheriff Arrested On Embezzlement Complaint

Freeman is now out of jail on bond. News On 6 talked with him about his arrest and why he says he has no plans to resign or drop out of the election. 

The District Attorney says pink binders, pens, and box loads of supplies should be inside schools right now but instead, they're in the back of a Nowata Police pickup, on their way to an evidence room as part of an embezzlement investigation. 

"It's not a good day for Nowata," said DA Kevin Buchanan. 

Kenny Freeman's arrest affidavit says the Bartlesville Walmart intended for school supplies to be donated to several schools in the area.

"The Sheriff's Office offered to deliver supplies to two schools: South Coffeyville and Nowata,” said Buchanan.   

But Buchanan says that more than $7,000 worth of supplies were picked up September 13, and have been sitting in the County Clerk's office, except for items seen at the Nowata County Fair. 

A picture from the Facebook Page "Kenny Freeman is Nowata County's Sheriff" posted September 14th has a caption that reads in part, "At our booth, we have free lunch boxes for kids with crayons and colored pencils as well as comp books ... It's about absolutely free." 

"For me, this is a political attack," said Freeman. 

Freeman has been sheriff since February of this year, after working as a janitor at the courthouse. 

He told News On 6 back in February that he's worked different jobs for the sheriff's office for the past 18 years. 

He said he wasn't at the fair when roughly 90 lunch boxes were given away.

"I just know we were handing them out to the children," Freeman said. 

Freeman said he has no plans to resign or drop out of the election when voters will decide if they want to elect him or another candidate.