CHARGES filed against Muskogee County assessor

Friday, September 7th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ Muskogee County Assessor Terry Dean Foutch was charged Thursday with a felony count of falsifying an invoice to buy a $171 mirror frame.

Foutch was also charged with a misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer. Foutch is accused of telling an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation special agent she had actually framed a map.

The mirror apparently ended up in the women's rest room at the county assessor's office.

Officials said Foutch took a mirror to a Muskogee gallery and was told framing would cost $171.25. The charge alleges that Foutch changed the invoice from the gallery by superimposing on the word ``mirror'' the words ``major map.''

Foutch could not be reached late Thursday afternoon.

Charles Rogers, a Payne County assistant district attorney who has been named as special prosecutor, said it is important for the public to have confidence in their public officials.

In an affidavit, OSBI Special Agent Ben W. Rosser said Foutch told him the frame was bought for a map for the county assessors office, although she knew that the money was used to frame a mirror.

Foutch later admitted to the agent that she altered the word ``mirror'' on the invoice by writing ``major map'' over it, according to Rosser's affidavit.

Foutch said she altered the invoice because the only purchase order she had with her already stated that it was to be used for a major map. The purchase order apparently was one left after she had several invoices printed for the purchase of maps for the assessor's office.

Conviction on the falsifying complaint is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 and forfeiture of office.

Obstructing an officer carries a maximum penalty of a year in the county jail or a fine of $500.