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OK County Commissioners Hold Off Until After Election In Sheriff Audit

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Voting to do nothing Wednesday, the Oklahoma County Commissioners kicked a decision to either suspend or remove sheriff John Whetsel from office to next week. Voting to do nothing Wednesday, the Oklahoma County Commissioners kicked a decision to either suspend or remove sheriff John Whetsel from office to next week.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Voting to do nothing Wednesday, the Oklahoma County Commissioners kicked a decision to either suspend or remove Sheriff John Whetsel from office to next week. One day after the election.

Calls for Whetsel to step down, began after a scathing audit was released by State Auditor Gary Jones several weeks ago. His findings showed the Sheriff created debt, chose to not pay down the debt and that Whetsel may have taken improper donations.

10/25/16 Related Story: Oklahoma Co. GOP Asks Sheriff Whetsel To Suspend Himself Pending Audit

“This isn't anything that we relish. It is a sad day for Oklahoma County that we're having to have this discussion,” Commissioner Brian Maughan said during the meeting. After several public speakers, Maughan moved to suspend Whetsel but it failed. Not a single resident spoke on behalf of Whetsel, nor was he there himself.

Commissioner Ray Vaughn was absent from the meeting because of a recent knee surgery and Commissioner Willa Johnson wanted the decision to be made by all three commissioners in earnest.

The audit has proved to be somewhat of an October surprise for the sheriff’s election this cycle. The decision to table the motion for a week was met with similar ire from audience members, some of whom insinuated corruption among board members.

“This is all being politicized because the election coming up next Tuesday and Sheriff Whetsel's on the ticket,” Brian Anderson said. Anderson spoke during the meeting and said he was disappointed neither Whetsel nor Vaughn were in attendance.

District Attorney David Prater, whose office asked for the audit to be done, was also at the meeting. When asked if he agreed with the angry citizens Prater said, “I do.”

“At least second the motion by Commissioner Maughan, and have a discussion about why or why not they don't think they should've moved forward. I would have liked to have heard that,” he said.

Sheriff Whetsel has said in a previous statement that he hasn’t done anything wrong. His office referred a request for a comment to his campaign manager who did not return calls for a comment.

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