'Feels Very Fishy': Okla. Co. Commissioner Raises Concerns Over CARES Funds


Thursday, October 1st 2020, 6:22 pm
By: Storme Jones


OKLAHOMA COUNTY -

An Oklahoma County Commissioner is raising concerns over where $34 million dollars in county CARES Act funds currently sit. 

“It just feels very fishy to me,” Commissioner Carrie Blumert said.

August 19, the Board of County Commissioners voted 2-0  sending $34 Million to the jail trust. According to the agenda item, “Monies will be placed in (trust) general operating account or other account deemed appropriate.”

Twelve days later, the jail trust voted to accept the money “approved by the Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners for transfer to the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority.”

Despite the votes, the money still has not been transferred to jail accounts.

“The money was encumbered, which means that it is getting ready to be moved for that purpose, and then the money was unencumbered,” Blumert said. “We never took a vote to unencumber the money.”

County Treasurer Butch Freeman said paperwork to finalize the move, known as a claim, was filed by County Commissioner Kevin Calvey in early September – but was later pulled by Calvey’s office.

“It was someone calling up the clerk’s office and saying no, no, no hold on, wait a minute,” Blumert said. “No one really has the authority to do that unless we take a vote of the board.”

Last week, Calvey said he had pulled the paperwork to make sure the bookkeeping checked out before finalizing the transfer. He told News 9 as soon as the check is complete the transfer would be initiated.

We reached out to Calvey Thursday but did not hear back.

Jail Trust Chair Tricia Everest was surprised last week to learn the money hadn’t made it to jail coffers.

She said Wednesday, it’s currently being held in a county account with the understanding it’s for jail use.