A jail administrator was arrested Friday inside his own jail. Authorities said he'd been writing and cashing checks for thousands of dollars from an account that isn't his. It happened in Caddo County. Friday the jail administrator of the Caddo County Jail went before a judge right after he was arrested inside his own workplace.
Court documents stated a judge appointed a new person to oversee the finances of the Caddo Nation and within months, a couple of questionable checks cleared the books. Investigators said those checks were written by Phillip Smith, the jail administrator at the Caddo County Jail.
At one time Smith had the authority to write checks on behalf of the tribe, but lost that power when the new financial administrator was appointed to straighten out the tribe's finances.
“He'd been part of the leadership of the Caddo Tribe at one time, and he obtained them during that time,” Caddo County Assistant District Attorney Al Rosenbaum said.
Records stated Smith wrote two checks totaling more than $5,000, cashed them at a convenience store a few blocks away from the jail and then deposited them into a private account.
“He wrote them for cash and cashed them at the gas station,” Rosenbaum said. “Our gas station cashes a lot of large checks for the Native Americans. So, they have a lot of cash.”
Smith was arrested Friday afternoon when he came back to work from his lunch break in the same jail he's worked for years. He was suspended with pay from the sheriff's department pending the outcome of the case.
“It's a sad day for law enforcement,” Rosenbaum said. “It's a sad day for the community.”
News 9 tried contacting Smith as well as the Caddo Nation, but neither returned our calls.
Smith was charged with two felony counts of obtaining money by false pretenses.
He bonded out of jail Friday afternoon.