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January 17, 2014

Grand jury looking into payment made to District 3 Cleveland County commissioner

NORMAN — Several Cleveland County officials have confirmed that investigators for a multi-county grand jury are looking into the possibility that Cleveland County Commissioner Rusty Sullivan received special treatment when the state paid him nearly $20,000 for trees on his Etowah Road property.

It is not known whether the grand jury, which will meet for three days next week, will return any indictments regarding the payments to Sullivan. The grand jury’s deliberations are secret and information is only released at the conclusion of the panel’s work. 

“This is being brought up three years late,” Sullivan, District 3, said Thursday. “I believe this is politically motivated.”

He said he thinks it was fueled by the other two commissioners, Rod Cleveland and Darry Stacy.

Sullivan, a Republican, faces a primary race in June from at least one other Republican seeking the nomination for the commissioner post. He has been at odds with Cleveland, District 1, over redistricting, when Sullivan’s Cleveland County area was enlarged to reach into Republican Oklahoma City.

Stacy, also a Republican, said he was not sure who the enemies are that Sullivan referenced. He said he was not fueling any investigation, although he acknowledged that he turned material over to the district attorney after it was brought to him. 

“The citizens deserve, as well as I think they should demand, honesty and integrity in their elected officials. If an issue is brought to me, which it was, I immediately turned that over to the district attorney to deal with it as they see fit,” Stacy said.

Stacy, District 2, and a former Norman police officer, said he was not in office when the events transpired. 

“I have no knowledge of what went on or what occurred. All I know is there were concerns and I took it to the district attorney,” he said. “I have full confidence in the criminal justice system that this will be fully vetted.

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