The long-running lawsuit filed to remove control of the J.M. Davis Gun Museum collection from the state is being financed by a convicted felon, according to a copyrighted story from the Oologah Lake Leader newspaper.
The J.M. Davis Gun Museum consists of thousands of guns and other items collected by John Monroe Davis. In 1965 he transferred ownership of the collection to the J.M. Davis Foundation. In 1967, the foundation signed a 99-year lease with the state to display the collection and the museum opened in 1969.
In 2008, the foundation filed suit against the state, claiming it had failed to properly maintain the collection.
The lawsuit cited the results of a 2006 state audit of the museum, which found that more than 100 guns were missing, as well as other problems.
The Leader reports that according to court filings from the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office, the foundation contracted with a company owned by Bruce Todd Thompson called Maverick Investment Group to recover the collection from the State of Oklahoma.
The paper says court records indicate Thompson was convicted in 1989 of federal bank, conspiracy and fraud charges, which the AG's office says would make it illegal for him to take ownership of the guns if the foundation wins its lawsuit.
In documents filed in the lawsuit, Thompson's attorney calls the conviction ancient history and says it has no bearing on the effort to get control of the museum's collection.