Oklahoma County Sheriff responds to recent critical financial audit

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OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. – An investigative audit of the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office was recently completed and released, showing financial mismanagement in the department.

District Attorney David Prater requested the audit in March 2016.

One of the key findings in the audit is the sheriff's office intentionally stopped paying a contracted medial provider, even though the funds were available.

It also shows how money spent was not done according to the rules. An example is the previous fiscal years were paid with subsequent year funds, which is a violation of the law.

According to the audit, the sheriff's office also spent approximately $900,000 on vehicles during a time when other financial obligations were not being met.

The sheriff's office also reportedly accepted a donation of Sheriff's Whetsel's personal vehicle, after a $28,000 payment was made to his spouse's trust.

Sheriff Whetsel released a statement days after the release.

I encourage citizens to read the full report and, while doing so, keep three
fundamental things in mind.

  • There is no allegation or finding that I or anyone else misappropriated
    money or benefitted [sic] in any way,
  • Every decision made by me or the leadership of the Sheriff’s Office was
    made in an effort to best serve our County, and,
  •  I take full responsibility for the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and pledge
    that we will work tirelessly to seek continued improvement in every area of
    our operation.

Whetsel also responded by saying he and his staff fully cooperated with the auditors.

"Many of the findings in the audit report have already been addressed and we are working to address and correct
every single issue that was identified, said Whetsel. To the extent any of the findings constituted errors on my part or on the part of
my staff, they were just that, errors, and for that I apologize to our citizens."

Sheriff John Whetsel Statement on Audit

 

The findings of the audit will be presented to Prater, who will decide whether or not charges will be filed.

Read the full Audit report here

 

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