The Norman Transcript


December 22, 2012

County’s legal bill approaches $70K

NORMAN — Cleveland County commissioners voted Thursday to pay a Washington, D.C., tax attorney, about $65,000, for representing the commissioners as they await results of an Internal Revenue Service audit, in the works since last February.

“In the end, this could be money well spent,” Commissioner Rod Cleveland said recently. Cleveland confirmed Thursday that the county has not received word from the IRS regarding the status of the audit and when it will be completed.

Commissioners, meeting as trustees of the Cleveland County Justice Authority, approved tax attorney Brad Waterman’s $65,256 invoice without any discussion. On Nov. 19, the trustees approved a payment of $4,280 for Waterman’s work from July 1 to August 31, 2012.

Waterman is considered a tax expert in dealing with the IRS. Waterman told The Transcript that he has been representing “folks across the country in connection with the IRS for nearly 36 years.”

County officials have been reluctant to discuss financing for the new jail at U.S. 77 and Franklin Road until the IRS audit is completed.

Meanwhile, a separate audit of the $52 million bond issue passed by voters in 2008 indicates that the money can be accounted for. This annual audit was done by a private firm hired by the state to review Cleveland County Justice Authority expenditures as required by bond indentures.

The state commissioned the private firm, Rahhal Henderson Johnson, Certified Public Accountants of Ardmore.

Their report accepted by the trust authority in November shows that nearly $19 million in bond proceeds is being held in reserve, due in part because sales tax revenues to pay for the bonds have surpassed estimates. In 2008, county voters approved a one-fourth cent sales tax to generate revenue to pay off the bonds. That tax is generating more than $500,000 per month. Commissioners have pledged to remove the tax once the jail is paid off.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Coaches Luncheon Mixon question off-limits at coaches luncheon

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived Wednesday at Journey Church....

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mixon will not participate in practice

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today. Freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there. The school announced the decision Wednesday night....

    July 31, 2014

  • Nova Pettigrew Music community bands together to raise money for 2-year-old’s battle with rare form of cancer

    Two-year old Nova Pettigrew was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer six weeks ago. Her father, former Deli sound technician and musician James Pettigrew, noticed something was wrong when running turned to walking, then limping, then ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deputies cleared, return to work

    Two deputies involved in a deadly shooting earlier this month are expected to return to work today after being cleared by the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. “They (the Sheriff’s Office) gave me their investigation, I ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Sales tax-free weekend set to begin this weekend

    When stores open Friday morning, shoppers may be waiting. Oklahoma’s annual sales tax holiday is slated to run this weekend with the special exemption beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ending at midnight on Sunday....

    July 31, 2014

  • India landslide kills 21

    NEW DELHI — Rescuers worked in rain today to dig through a remote village in western India where at least 21 people died as a landslide swept away scores of houses, possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said....

    July 31, 2014

  • Israeli strike hits UN school

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli artillery shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with sleeping war refugees and back-to-back explosions rocked a market filled with shoppers Wednesday as Israel’s stepped up campaign against ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Busted water main dumps 20 million gallons of water into UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and adjacent garage

    LOS ANGELES — The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles into a mucky mess points to the risks and expense many cities ...

    July 31, 2014

  • GOP-led House gives go-ahead for suit

    WASHINGTON — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Just a day before ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Randall Lee Sherrill, 34, possession of juvenile pornography · Dewey Leon Kinsey, 37, possession of controlled dangerous ...

    July 31, 2014