Grady County sheriff pleads guilty

Friday, October 3rd 2008, 11:54 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

GRADY COUNTY, Okla. -- Grady County is now without a sheriff because the man elected to uphold the law pleaded guilty to breaking it.

Illegal gambling, death threats and law breaking lawmen may sound like the elements of a good Las Vegas thriller, but according to the Grady County District Attorney, it's a real life Oklahoma story that came to an end Friday.

Supporters and on-lookers filed into a Grady County courtroom to watch the man they elected five years ago as sheriff plead guilty to a charge of neglecting his duties.

District Attorney Bret Burns said it's taken too long to get to this day.

"We've been stuck with the same sheriff's administration for two years and it's been an ugly process for the Grady County citizens," Burns said.

Former sheriff Kieran McMullen and a number of others deputies and police officers were busted during an illegal gambling raid on the Chickasha Elks Lodge in 2006.

As part of a plea deal the sheriff, two of his deputies and his wife, Helen, who was a Chickasha police officer at the time of the raid each pleaded guilty to one count of "willful neglect of duty." Each must surrender their certifications as police officers, be placed on six months probation and pay fines and court costs.

Following the court proceedings, the defendants declined to talk about the case. Sheriff Kieran McMullen pondered his retirement this week.

"I'm tired of it. It's just time to do something else," McMullen said.

He resigned Thursday and wouldn't make a comment toward the residents of Grady County.

The District Attorney said despite receiving death threats over the course of this investigation, he's pleased the case is now closed and looks forward to working with a more reliable and trustworthy administration in the future.

Art Kell and Austin Green will face off in the November 4 election to replace Kieran McMullen.