“We as elected officials have to be beyond reproach. If there is an issue or concern, we need to be transparent about it.”
Cleveland, a Republican, said Thursday that it was a case of gerrymandering by Sullivan.
The right of way payment Sullilvan received was never presented to the county commissioners for approval, even though it involved reimbursement from the state for damages to Sullivan’s private property.
The commissioner said he discussed with agents for the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation whether Assistant District Attorney David Batton had unfairly represented Sullivan before the state Department of Transportation, which administered the Etowah Road widening from 48th Avenue Southeast to 120th Avenue.
Cleveland said he didn’t know until Thursday that Sullivan had received $19,900 from the state.
Documents filed with the state Transportation Department show that Sullivan was paid to replace 21 trees on his property close to the road.
The payment included:
· $5,600 to replace five loblolly pine trees
· $6,400 to replace eight redbud trees
· $4,480 to replace seven crepe myrtles
· $960 to replace a maple tree
Sullivan also received $900 to “acquire (an) asphalt drive.”
The commissioner donated the right of way land next to Etowah Road for $1,150.
Sullivan said he, along with Batton, met with OSBI investigators, but it was a short meeting — “probably 10 minutes.”
“I think that because I won’t be a lap dog and I vote my conscience that you develop political enemies when you are doing what is right,” Sullivan said.
Conservative state Rep. Mike Reynolds, who will be term-limited this year, has been mentioned as a possible candidate running against Sullivan.
“I have been asked by several people to run,” Reynolds said, but he has yet to make a decision.
Darryl Covey, a southeast Cleveland County resident, has announced plans to run.
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