State audit critical of Oklahoma County sheriff's finances

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A new state audit finds that the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office did not pay contracts for inmate health care services even though money was available at the time payment was due.

The audit released Tuesday by State Auditor Gary Jones also found that about $900,000 was spent on vehicles for the sheriff's office even though other financial obligations had not been met.

The audit was conducted at the request of Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, who said in March that the investigation "could result in criminal charges being filed."

Sheriff John Whetsel, who is running for re-election, previously denied any wrongdoing. Sheriff's office spokesman Mark Opgrande said Tuesday that Whetsel is out of state at a conference and did not have an immediate comment on the audit.

 

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