Rogers County Commissioner Surrenders On New Indictments

Friday, August 28th 2015, 5:42 pm
By: Richard Clark

Rogers County Commissioner Mike Helm turned himself in Friday on two new indictments issued by the multicounty grand jury this week.

Helm, the commissioner for District 2, posted bond at the Rogers County Courthouse and was released.

The multicounty grand jury issued two indictments against Helm on Friday, August 28, 2015. They include one count of embezzlement exceeding $1,000 and one count of embezzlement exceeding $500.

8/27/2015: Related Story: New Indictment Against Rogers County Commissioner

The indictment accuses Helm of selling the bed of a 2009 GMC pickup owned by the county to a private citizen in May of 2014 and keeping the money. According to the indictment the bed had been removed from the truck because it was replaced with a flatbed.

The indictment says the bed was worth more than $1,000 and alleges Helm sold it to the private citizen for $500.

If convicted of these new charges, Helm faces up to five years in prison and a fine up to $5,000 for the first count and up to one year in prison and a fine up to $5,000 for the second.

Also on Thursday, the grand jury returned an accusation for removal for Helm, which means it asked the judge to remove Helm from office while the criminal case against him proceeds.

Helm said Friday that he's innocent until proven guilty and referred questions to his attorney.

The state’s multicounty grand jury began looking into allegations of wrongdoing by Rogers County officials in 2013 after thousands of citizens of the county signed a petition asking for an investigation. 

The grand jury indicted Helm back in July on one count of conspiracy and one count of embezzlement exceeding $1,000 for allegedly selecting a contractor to perform highway improvements without going through the public bidding process, and for selling scrap metal belonging to the county but failing to deposit the cash into county accounts. 

Helm said at the time he would not resign.