Rogers County Commissioners have denied a former co-worker's request for back pay. Suspended commissioner Mike Helm requested back pay after a recent Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling in a similar case in Pawnee County.
Helm faces two charges of embezzlement. A multi-county grand jury issued two indictments against Helm in August 2015. They include one count of embezzlement exceeding $1,000 and one count of embezzlement exceeding $500.
He was suspended from office in September 2015. Helms believes since he'd not been convicted, he ought to get paid anyway.
In the Pawnee County case, which was from 2010, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled the county did not have the authority to suspend a sheriff's salary before he stood trial. The court ruled the county commissioners had a statutory duty to pay the sheriff through the period of his suspension.
Helm was not present at the meeting Monday. Commissioners made no comments before denying his claims. They are turning it over to the district attorney.
They don't know if he'll give up or keep fighting.
"Given the legal situation he's in, we thought that it merited it having the suspension, so we denied the claim, and we asked the district attorney to write a letter on that behalf," said Rogers County Commissioner Ron Burrows.
Helm is going to trial, but there's not a date certain for that. He has a court date coming up next week.