CLAREMORE, Okla. - Major fireworks erupted during Monday's Rogers County Commission meeting.
Commissioner Kirt Thacker made the request to remove Commissioner Mike Helm's ability to spend money for his district, citing concerns about Helm's handling of his districts' finances. An OSBI investigation into both Helm and Thacker surfaces during the same meeting.
"You spend money like a drunken sailor," Thacker said to Helm.
"There are serious and grave concerns about your actions," said Thacker. "And until the OSBI is done with their investigation, I make a motion that we take over your finances until you are either cleared or indicted."
In a 2-1 vote, Thacker and Commissioner Dan Delozier passed the motion.
"I look at the scrutiny he may be under," Helm said. "I am not going to kick another Commissioner. I don't do that."
Helm says Thacker's actions are politically motivated.
He tells 2NEWS, "I am very concerned when I have never in my eight years, overspent our budget. And we have a sitting commissioner that has." (Referring to Thacker)
An hour after the meeting, Rogers County District Attorney Janice Steidly released a statement saying her office requested OSBI investigate allegations of bid splitting by both Mike Helm and Kirt Thacker.
OSBI says the investigation began last week.
Steidly says a state audit released in July shows that in 2009, Helm and Thacker's districts each spent nearly $50,000 on road striping with the same company, without putting those projects out for bid.
Both Helm and Thacker says they have nothing to hide from investigators.
District 13 D.A. Eddie Wyant will will review the OSBI's findings and decide if any criminal charges will be filed.
In the meantime, the entire commission must approve all of the expenses for Helm's district. Both Helm and Thacker admit that could slow projects down in District 2.
"I think everybody just wants to know how their tax dollars are being spent -- and to make sure they are being spent wisely," said Rogers County Resident Alger Flood -- who attended Monday's meeting.
Flood said, "Indelibly, the truth will come out."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Also in the headlines
This year, Afton Public Schools had 11 sets of twins across its district. What makes this number interesting is there are just under 500 students at Afton, from grads PreK to 12th grade.