Oklahoma County's Sheriff says he's giving back campaign donations that came from a man indicted on illegal gambling charges.
9/24/2012 Related Story: Federal Indictment Names Teddy Mitchell, 9 Others In Gambling Ring
Sheriff John Whetsel said professional poker player Teddy Mitchell attended three of his golf fundraisers in 2009 and 2010.
Records show Mitchell donated a total of $2,690 to Whetsel's campaign fund.
A grand jury indicted Mitchell on illegal gambling charges last month.
Whetsel's campaign says, "the Sheriff had no knowledge of how Mr. Mitchell reportedly made his living until reading news accounts and Sheriff Whetsel has never been to Mr. Mitchell's house."
News 9 was told the money was returned last week.
Sheriff Whetsel released the following statement on Thursday:
"Every year the Sheriff John Whetsel Campaign holds two fundraising golf tournaments. Teddy Mitchell came with a person who regularly played in the tournaments. Mr. Mitchell and his team played in three golf tournaments in 2009 and 2010 and contributed $2,690 which also covered charges for green fees, cart rental and golf awards for his team. These contributions were reported to the Oklahoma Ethics Commission as required by law and are a matter of public record. The Sheriff John Whetsel Campaign has a policy that contributions from anyone charged with a crime will be returned and that is not meant to be a reflection of their guilt or innocence until that is determined in a court of law. In this instance, the campaign treasurer wrote a check to Teddy Mitchell on October 7, 2012, refunding his total contribution of $2,690. That check has been delivered to his attorney. Sheriff Whetsel had no knowledge of how Mr. Mitchell reportedly made his living until reading news accounts and Sheriff Whetsel has never been to Mr. Mitchell's house. The Sheriff John Whetsel Campaign has received campaign contributions from well over 1,000 individual contributors."