OKC Union President Accused Of Embezzlement

Thursday, April 21st 2016, 1:59 pm
By: Grant Hermes

The president of the Oklahoma City municipal workers union was brought under fire Wednesday, after documents revealed allegations of embezzlement.

According to a request for a search warrant submitted by Oklahoma City Police witnesses told a detective William Bryles, 53, had been stealing money from members and the city. Bryles is the American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees president.

The request states witnesses said Bryles had used a Lowe's credit card to buy a refrigerator for his home and he'd been signing checks under the name of the union's former vice president and then cashing them for himself.

One witness said things got so bad they even had to hide the union checkbook from Bryles. The witness added Bryles resorted to making cash withdrawals from the organization's account instead.

On Tuesday, investigators seized four computers, an external hard drive and three boxes of financial documents after executing a search warrant.

The embezzlement allegations came out of a separate investigation into sexual assaults made against Bryles by a former secretary. The detective said witness tipped him off to the alleged theft while conducting interviews. Bryles has been accused of sexual assault or rape three times since 1999, most recently in 2015.

News 9 tried to reach both Bryles and the union's lawyer, Mike Moore, at the union’s headquarters in southwest Oklahoma City, but a reporter was met by a woman at the door, who told them to call Moore. Moore did not answer phone calls Wednesday. However, he has said publicly he was unaware of any wrongdoing. 

Bryles’ position as a go-between for the union and the city also means he is paid by the city. Records show he makes more than $73,000 a year.

OCPD sent out a release Wednesday morning declining to comment on the investigation. So far, charges are still pending in this case and no arrests have been made.