The Edmond Sun

State News

December 21, 2012

Rogers: ‘They will be punished’

Legal hearing to wait until March

McALESTER — It looks as if prosecution and defense attorneys will have to wait until at least March to find out whether former District 18 Drug Court Coordinator Angie Marcum will be bound over for trial on six of the counts in the first indictment filed against her.

Oklahoma Attorneys General Charles Rogers and Megan Tilly were in Pittsburg County District Court on Wednesday, as were Marcum and her attorney, Shannon McMurray, of Tulsa.

They were in McAlester for a preliminary hearing on an indictment in which Marcum is charged with six counts of stealing, destroying or secreting a public book or record in the form of receipts for payments made by drug court recipients.

Following testimony by two state witnesses, Okmulgee County Special District Judge Cindy Pickering tentatively continued the hearing until early March, with an exact date to be determined later. Pickering has been appointed to preside over the preliminary hearing in the case.

Marcum is accused in a 2011 Oklahoma Multicounty Grand Jury indictment with two counts of embezzling public money and property, along with six counts of stealing, destroying or secreting a public book or record in the form of receipts for payments made by drug court participants.

The grand jury indicted Marcum in connection with an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and State Auditor and Inspector’s Office probe into missing money and records in the District 18 Drug Court, which covers Pittsburg and McIntosh counties.

After the hearing, McMurray spoke with the News-Capital and was highly critical of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation case against Marcum.

She noted that in addition to Marcum, present and former drug court participants who were working in the drug court office in McAlester also took payments from drug court participants.

“We’re ready to get it on like Donkey Kong,” she said, referring to her readiness to defend Marcum of the charges filed against her.

Also after the hearing, Rogers had a response to McMurray’s criticism of the state investigation.

“Ms. Marcum and others did their dead level best to frustrate and impede the OSBI and Auditor and Inspector’s investigation,” Rogers said. “They were indicted; they will be tried and they will be punished.”

The only two witnesses who testified Wednesday were OSBI agent John Jones, and Rodney Briggs, of Briggs Printing.

Rogers and Tilly had other state witnesses ready to testify, but the case was continued after the judge said she had to return to Okmulgee County.

Much of the testimony concerned receipt books which were used in drug court and which were designed to keep records of payments made by drug court participants. Payments were fees charged for participating in the program and other related costs, according to previous testimony.

Seventy-six receipt books were delivered to the drug court over a period of time, according to testimony in the case, including one which was a reprint of a previous receipt book, reported “lost.”

Nine of the receipt books are still unaccounted for, according to prosecutors.

Jones testified that some of the records used in the investigation had been obtained during an initial visit to the drug court office. Jones said Marcum was out of the office but he spoke to her over the phone and told her what he needed.

More records were obtained after investigators served a subpoena.

Other testimony concerned records that were allegedly taken from the drug court office by Marcum.

“You believe she was taking them out to steal them? That’s what you believe?” McMurray asked Jones.

“Yes,” he replied.

“It’s just as consistent to believe she was taking them out to comply with the subpoena, isn’t it?” McMurray continued.

“Possibly,” Jones replied.

Rogers, questioning Jones, asked him to read a passage from a policy book which stated that drug court collections were to be deposited daily. The lack of daily deposits had been given as one of the reasons that sparked the investigation into the drug court issues.

Briggs testified regarding the printing of receipt books used by the  District 18 Drug Court. The receipt books were to be used to give receipts to drug court participants each time they made a payment.

Marcum had previously been ordered bound over for trial on all eight counts in the indictment in November 2011, after she, through her attorney at the time, Michael Parks, waived the remainder of  the original preliminary hearing.

However, Marcum subsequently changed attorneys, leading to her current representation by McMurray.

McMurray then sought to have a new preliminary hearing on the charges in the original indictment. She was successful in obtaining a new preliminary hearing on the six counts having to do with stealing, destroying or secreting a public book or record.

The original bind-over order on the two embezzlement counts were allowed to stand. However, a trial date on those two counts is not expected to be set until the preliminary hearing on the six stealing, destroying or secreting a public book or record counts is completed and a decision is rendered by the judge.

The original accusations against Marcum made in the indictment issued by the Oklahoma Multicounty Grand Jury were unsealed in Pittsburg County District Court in June 2011.

Meanwhile, a case in which Marcum, former District 18 District Attorney Michael Miller and former Pittsburg County Special Judge Bill Layden are charged with conspiracy is awaiting farther action pending a decision by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

Rogers and Tilly are appealing a lower court decision prohibiting the attorney general’s office from using as part of the prosecution’s case text messages allegedly sent between Miller and Marcum.

Miller had represented the district attorney’s office in dealing with the drug court, while Layden had been the special judge assigned to oversee the drug court’s day-to-day operations.

JAMES BEATY is the senior editor at the McAlester News-Capital. Contact Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

1
Text Only
State News
  • Lynette Rae Sampson.jpg Say what?: Woman arrested after calling EPD to complain her meth was ‘laced’

    A 54-year-old Enid woman is facing felony drug charges after allegedly calling police earlier in the week and telling them she thought her methamphetamine was laced with something. Woman to officer: "I'm glad you came."

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Christopher Sparks.jpg 1st-degree murder suspect will return to county to face charge

    Christopher Ryan Sparks was charged July 15 with capital murder, which is punishable by life in prison, life without parole or death. He is accused of killing his live-in girlfriend, Chassidy Michelle Hancock, sometime July 11 in their apartment in Garber.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • marcie_022-4x5.jpg Former Autry superintendent takes CareerTech reins

    She will take on her duties as interim director Aug. 15, the date that State Director Robert Sommers’ resignation takes effect.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former North Enid PD officer arraigned on DUI charge

    Edward Lynn Dominic appeared before Special District Judge Brian Lovell, free on a $1,000 recognizance bond.

    July 24, 2014

  • photo of oil tanks and fiberglass salt water tank.jpg Officials investigate oil-covered barn owls, dead birds

    “These birds got into a saltwater tank that was full. Most of it’s saltwater, but there’s the scum of oil on top of it. That’s the reason why the (Oklahoma) Corporation Commission and federal rules say that those tanks have to be covered." — Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Major County Game Warden Lt. Frank Huebert

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Candidates disagree with White House’s minimum wage

    Gubernatorial candidate Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs, said the state needs to have serious growth in high-paying living wage jobs that will provide for Oklahomans.
    Dorman cautioned that while Oklahoma’s jobless rate improved in June, the state’s rankings for the well-being of children has dropped from 36th to 39th place, for one of the largest declines in the U.S., according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Project.
    The unemployment rate in June dropped to 4.5 percent, down a percentage point from 4.6 percent in May, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Gov. Mary Fallin said this week.
    The state’s unemployment rate was more than 7 percent when Fallin was elected during the brink of the Great Depression. Alex Weintz, communications director for Fallin, pointed out that per capita income in Oklahoma was second in the nation from 2011 to 2013.
    The non partisan Congressional Budget office reported in February that raising the minimum wage could kill a half-million jobs in the United States.
    According to The Washington Times, CBO analysts reported, “Once the other changes in income were taken into account, families whose income would be below six times the poverty threshold under current law would see a small increase in income, on net, and families whose income would be higher under current law would see reductions in income, on net.”
    President Barack Obama in February signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour.
    Weintz said the governor believes tax cuts have enabled families to keep more of their money.
    No one is talking about the under-employment rate of families working minimum wage jobs, Dorman said.
    “It’s all fine and good when you have fast-food jobs that don’t cover the bills and that counts toward your unemployment rate.”
    Oklahoma’s minimum wage reflects the federal minimum wage set at $7.25 an hour, a standard set in 2009.
    Fallin signed legislation this year to prohibit municipalities from raising their local minimum wage above $7.25 an hour.
    “If the minimum wage goes up to $15 in Oklahoma City, all of the sudden you would drive retail, business, service industry locations outside of the city limits and that would be detrimental to the economy, consumers and to businesses,” Weintz said.
    Fallin has said that she opposes raising the minimum wage in Oklahoma because it would stifle job growth for small business and lay off workers. A lot of people earning the $7.25 minimum wage are part-time workers and many of them are students, Weintz said.
    “We believe raising the minimum wage is not a good way to address poverty,” Weintz said. “A lot of people earning the minimum wage are actually people living with their parents or other people who are employed full time, and in many cases they are middle class families. So it’s not a good tool to reduce poverty.”
    Dorman said he does not necessarily support the proposed $10.10 an hour minimum federal minimum wage that is being discussed by Congress.
    “I think we need to have a living wage in Oklahoma that is reflective of our economy,” Dorman said.
    About 102,300 jobs have been added in Oklahoma since Fallin took office in January 2011, according to her office.
    The cost of living in the national economy tends to be higher in some other states, Dorman said.
    So a minimum wage increase should be tied to economic gains so that families can pay their bills and afford to care for their children, Dorman said.
    Independent candidates for governor include Richard Prawdzienski of Edmond, Joe Sills of Oklahoma City and Kimberly Willis of Oklahoma City.

    July 24, 2014

  • Red Dirt Rangers Zope.jpg Red Dirt Rangers celebrate 25 years together at Cimarron Breeze Concert Series

    Founding musicians from the Red Dirt music scene perform Friday night at the Old Church Center in the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza in Perkins.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Preparing for a fall home garden

    Gardening can be a year-around activity for those that have an appreciation for fresh and nutritious vegetables. Some of the best vegetables in Oklahoma are produced and harvested during the cooler weather of fall. Successful fall gardens, however, require some work in the summer growing season. Factors to be considered are location, soil preparation, crops to be grown and how/when to plant.  
    The major consideration for garden placement is sunlight. All vegetables require some sunlight; the most popular vegetables require full sun. “Full” sun means at least 8 hours of intense, direct exposure.

    July 24, 2014

  • OBU dance team celebrates National Dance Day

    In 2010, “So You Think You Can Dance” co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe created National Dance Day in an effort to help people embrace dance and combat obesity on the last Saturday in July.
    This year, on July 26, Oklahoma Baptist University’s dance team will host a fundraiser that allows participants to dance all day for $30. The fundraiser will be in the Noble Complex on OBU’s campus.
    Cami Gower, an OBU junior and co-captain/co-founder of the dance team, said the team’s officers have been planning for their upcoming season since April. Gower is a graduate of Deer Creek High School.
    “Since then we have been coming up with better ways to reach the community with dance,” she said. “This day of dance was a great way to do it and help the team raise funds.”

    July 24, 2014

  • Blackmon.jpg Local cops arrest NFL player on marijuana complaint

    The Edmond Police Department has released the incident report related to the arrest of ex-Oklahoma State star and current NFL player Justin Blackmon.
    Blackmon, 24, a product of Plainview High School in Ardmore, is a 6-1, 210-pound wide receiver in his second year with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At Oklahoma State University, he was a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner as the country’s best collegiate wide receiver.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo