Report Recommends Continued Probe Of Cherokee County’s Ex-Prosecutor

Tuesday, November 28th 2006, 4:44 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The state's multi-county grand jury's final report on Tuesday urged further investigation of Cherokee County District Attorney Richard Gray, who already has been indicted on an embezzlement charge.

Gray, who was defeated for re-election in the July 25 primary, was indicted in October and accused of taking nearly $9,000 that had been seized in drug investigations.

In January, the state grand jury indicted Janet Bickel, assistant district attorney, and Vyrl Keeter, Gray's former office manager. Both have since pleaded guilty to felony crimes.

Bickel was accused of perjury and possessing an illegal drug taken from a crime scene. Keeter was accused of attempted subordination of perjury.

"At this point in our investigation, having now also returned an indictment charging Mr. Gray with personally embezzling drug forfeiture monies, we clearly understand why Mr. Gray was in no position to correct or address employees under his watch for criminal wrongdoing. We now know Mr. Gray created his own nest of deception and thievery," the report said.

It said Gray's actions reflect "a patter of behavior which harbors corruption" and continued investigation is warranted.

Gray could get up to 20 years in prison on the embezzlement count. He has denied wrongdoing.