An embezzlement charge was filed Thursday against former Luther Police Chief Tony Shaun Walker. Details must still be revealed but court records show that one felony count of “embezzlement by public officer” was filed January 8, 2020.
An arrest warrant has been issued and bond will be set at $5,000. Sources say that Walker was put on administrative leave at his current job with the McLoud Police Department.
Sources indicate the embezzlement charge involves an allegation that Walker, when he was Luther Police Chief, pocketed cash that was collected as part of a fine for an impounded motorcycle that had an expired tag during a traffic stop in July 2019. The amount of the embezzlement is reportedly about $300 and brings a felony charge because Walker was a law enforcement official in the public trust.
Walker resigned from the Luther chief job in September 2019 following an investigation into allegations of falsified timecards for officers. He immediately began working as an officer in nearby McLoud.
Luther Mayor Jenni White said the charge filed is the result of that investigation. “Time card irregularities initially prompted an in-house inquiry. Findings from further investigation prompted us to call for an outside investigation by Oklahoma CountySheriff’s department,” she said.
Walker joined the Luther Police Department in 2016 and was named chief in May 2019 following the abrupt resignation of his predecessor.
The new leader of LPD is Chief Johnny Leafty. He acknowledged that the charge is a black eye against the department and community, but says the department has had 100% change in personnel and is focused on earning the community’s trust.
Fully staffed for the first time in a year, the department has six officers and two reservists. Leafty has been with the department for only a year and previously worked in Arcadia. He said there is a culture change in the department and morale has improved helped by the recent move into new offices at Town Hall.
Chief Leafty said surveillance cameras in the new Town Hall (generously left by the bank when it moved to its new location) will help with transparency and accountability, especially when it comes to cash transactions. He said the department also has worked diligently to organize the department, modernize systems and earn the trust of Luther’s citizens.
Walker’s first court appearance has not been scheduled.