HARTSHORNE, Okla. — Authorities have issued subpoenas to several businesses as part of an investigation of whether an official credit card issued to Hartshorne’s former city clerk was misused.
The subpoenas sought by the district 18 district attorney’s office were issued earlier this month requesting records from GM Financial, Honda Financial, Bass Pro Shops, Billmatrix, Vivid Seats, AT&T, DirecTV, Wells Fargo, US Cellular and Progressive Insurance, the McAlester News-Capital reported (http://bit.ly/2dgb8Zf ).
The credit card was issued in the name of former City Clerk Dawn Dunkin. Dunkin and City Treasurer Shirley Day recently retired and Mayor Carolyn Trueblood resigned in September. The newspaper said it wasn’t able to reach any of them for comment.
City Attorney Richard Lerblance said the state Auditor and Inspector is preparing to audit the city and that he believes the FBI is investigating.
“I stand ready to help the city see what we can do to recoup any losses that we might recoup and see that responsible parties are held responsible,” Lerblance said.
Hartshorne Police Officer Colten Westbrook said in September that an investigative report was given to the district attorney’s office and later to the FBI.
The FBI would not confirm nor deny an investigation and a prosecutor declined comment.
“We’re aware of the allegations involved in Hartshorne, but we are not going to comment at this time on any pending investigations,” District 18 First Assistant District Attorney Chuck Sullivan said.
Credit card records obtained previously by the newspaper through a Freedom of Information Act request show charges were made on the city’s credit card to each of the businesses listed.
Other purchases were made at businesses including a jewelry store, baby and toy stores, iTunes, and Victoria’s Secret.
State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones has said the audit is expected to begin by early November.
“I’m sure the state auditor is not going to miss a beat,” Lerblance said. “They will go through every piece of paper there is and they will not return on their report until they are satisfied the audit is final and it is a true and correct audit.”
Interim Mayor Leon Mace, a city councilor who was elected vice mayor in April and began reviewing the credit card bills as part of the vice mayor’s duties, said he became concerned almost immediately.
Mace said the city will benefit from the personnel now in office.
“We’re going to be OK,” said Mace. “It appears we have a pretty good staff.”
Information from: McAlester News-Capital, http://www.mcalesternews.com