McIntosh County Assessor Accused Of Embezzlement

Friday, September 22nd 2006, 9:37 am
By: News On 6

EUFAULA, Okla. (AP) _ McIntosh County Assessor Vickie Hamm faces accusations that she embezzled $80,000 from a fund to pay companies that perform property inspections.

Hamm, 48, of Checotah, faces seven counts of embezzlement by an officer, said Tommy Graham, regional inspector for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. She did not immediately return calls for comment Friday.

Assistant District Attorney Greg Stidham said he discussed the charges with Hamm's lawyer, who promised she would show up for an initial court appearance.

Hamm has been the assessor since 1991. She ran unopposed this year and thus was re-elected to a fifth four-year term. Her new term begins in January.

Each of the criminal counts carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. The money is alleged to have been stolen over the past year or so, Graham said.

He said the money was taken from a fund into which schools make deposits. The fund reimburses the assessor for her contracts with companies such as Visual Lease Services of Holdenville, which inspects for tax liability on oil and gas equipment.