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Oklahoma County GOP, County Assessor Call For Sheriff's Suspension

Kate Carlton Greer / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange
Oklahoma County Republican Party Chairman Daren Ward calls on Sheriff John Whetsel to self-suspend.

The Oklahoma County GOP is calling for Sheriff John Whetsel to suspend himself pending the results of an investigation.

Chairman Daren Ward says an investigative audit released last week shows possible instances of embezzlement, bribery and corruption. He argued the findings further mistrust citizens have in their officials and said, if true, Whetsel should self-suspend immediately.

“It is not only inexcusable, but a complete violation of trust the citizens of Oklahoma County have invested in the Sheriff for the past two decades,” Ward said.

The audit shows the Sheriff’s office unlawfully spent department funds in recent years and possibly received questionable gifts and vehicles worth more than $100,000.

“These are but an abridged list of the alleged violations found in the Audit and are felonies under state law,” Ward said. “Any officer who wears the badge would face suspension at the least if confronted with these allegations.”

Whetsel declined to comment on the suspension request, saying he was “actively involved in leading his agency to capture a killer and [would] not dignify these political games with a response.”

Kate Carlton Greer was a general assignment reporter for KGOU and Oklahoma Public Media Exchange.
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