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Oklahoma City councilman facing embezzlement charges

John Pettis Jr.

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City councilman is facing several charges after a year-long investigation.

Officials say the investigation started around April 20, 2017 after an individual contacted Oklahoma City police “alleging criminal behavior by Oklahoma City Councilman John A. Pettis Jr,” an affidavit reads.

Subpoenas were served on two financial institutions, BancFirst and the International Bank of Commerce (IBC), requesting account information and details of accounts for Pettis.

Authorities looked into several accounts under Pettis’ name. Investigators claim that Pettis converted charitable funds for personal use.

Officials also allege that Pettis failed to file a tax return.

“On May 8, 2018, I received confirmation from the Oklahoma Tax Commission, stating that John Pettis, Jr., as an individual, had no records on file with the OTC. The OTC has no record that John Pettis, Jr. has ever filed an Oklahoma Tax Return,” the affidavit states.

When confronted about the allegations, court documents state that Pettis did not offer “any explanation or attempted to justify the activity.”

On Friday, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater charged Pettis with three counts of embezzlement and one count of intentionally failing to file income tax returns for tax years 2009-2017.

Pettis is councilman for Ward 7 in Oklahoma City.

“These charges are unrelated to John Pettis’ service on the City Council,” said Kristy Yager with the City of Oklahoma City.

He is also a candidate for Oklahoma County Commissioner for District 1.