TULSA - The Skiatook School District may be one step closer to receiving restitution from its former superintendent and an Oklahoma City businessman, who are accused of bilking the district out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Former Skiatook Superintendent Gary Johnson and vendor Rick Enos have a matter of weeks to prove to a judge that they can repay $570,000 in damages to the school district or they could face prison time.
Both mean appeared in court on Tuesday. Johnson was scheduled to be sentencing. Enos was scheduled for an arraignment.
Both hearings were postponed until May 2. That is when both men are scheduled to return to court with proof they have the resources to pay restitution.
An audit shows that over a four and half year period of Johnson's leadership the district bought more than $800,000 in janitorial supplies and security equipment from a business owned by Enos.
According to the audit, many of the items were sold to the district at prices that were inflated by 400 to 800 percent.
"If I can put them in a position where they are paying back the actual victims that they cheated -- the students and tax payers of Skiatook -- to me that is the ultimate justice," said Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris.
Harris says his goal is to make the district financially whole. He says if Johnson and Enos cannot prove to the judge that they have resources to do that, prison is the only option.
"If restitution can't be paid, then I am not going to give any consideration regarding your sentencing," Harris said. "If restitution can't get paid, then people are going to the penitentiary."
Skiatook resident Linda Loftis served on the school board following the bribery scandal. She was in court on Tuesday. She too hopes the defendants will be able to repay the district.
"I know time spent in prison will never pay our children and taxpayers," she said. "And I think it's important that we get this taken care of. And I can't wait to be back on May 2."
Johnson has already pleaded guilty to bribery charges. Enos is expected do the same during the May 2 court appearance.
It will be up to the judge to decide what portion of the damages each of the defendants is responsible for and how long they will have to pay it back.
Harris points out that if Enos does not have the resources to pay restitution, there is a chance he could plead not guilty and the case would go to trial.
"We can go to war if he wants to go to war. I'm going to win that battle in my opinion," Harris said. "And I think he sees the wisdom in that. But if he were to chose otherwise, that's his choice. Not mine."
Harris says Enos and Johnson are both currently employed. But Enos no longer owns the businesses that were listed in the bribery investigation.
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