Less than a week after one Town Trustee was charged with felonies involving voter fraud, and the accompanying investigation indicates the mayor was complicit in the fraud (she is not charged), the Town Board is calling a Special Meeting and sources say the agenda is to fire the town attorney.
It’s been no secret that some of the Town Trustees have wanted to fire Town Attorney Bryan Drummond from Tulsa. They say he is too expensive. They want an attorney closer to home.
The Town Board hired Drummond last December after firing its previous attorney who is a longtime Luther resident and was hospitalized at the time.
Earlier this month, the Town Clerk resigned because she said she did not have direct access to the attorney.
At a January meeting, Town Trustee Birlene Langley questioned an expense on an invoice from Drummond that involved the debacle of the October 2015 town meeting that resulted in misdemeanor citizen complaints being leveled against Trustee Ron Henry and Langley’s daughter and grandson.
Last week, Henry was charged in Oklahoma County District Court on allegations he participated in voter fraud during his April 2015 election. The investigation also reveals that Mayor Cecilia Taft notarized absentee voter applications, without the voters being in Taft’s presence as required to perform her official duties.
From the district attorney’s investigation:
In July 2015, the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office received a call alleging voter fraud in the Luther City Board Trustee election held in April of 2015. The allegation was that Candidate Ronald Henry conspired with members of his family to fraudulently use absentee ballots to gain votes.
Oklahoma County District Attorney’s investigators reviewed absentee ballots and their supporting documents and interviewed many of those absentee voters. Candidate Ronald Henry was interviewed as was Luther Board Trustee Cecilia Taft who notarized many of the absentee ballot affidavits.
In addition, Henry was charged with trespassing and stealing hay from his neighbor (and constituent) as part of a long-running property dispute, according to court documents.
Henry has a court date scheduled for October 4, 2016, to answer to part of the charges. His wife was also charged in the voter fraud matter.
The Special Town meeting will be the third special meeting held by the Town or the Luther Public Works Authority since its last meeting on August 9, 2016. Public notice of Special Meetings must be given 48-hours in advance, with an agenda posted 24-hours in advance.
The Special Meeting, open to the public, will be held Thursday, September 1, at 6 pm at Town Hall on Main Street. The agenda should post before 6 pm on Wednesday. The Luther Register will broadcast it on Periscope.
With the issues surrounding 2 trustees, I would think now is not the time to fire the attorney. And unless Mr. Drummond moved to Tulsa after December, 2015, trustees knew exactly how far away he lived and the travel costs involved.
I also believe there should be another agenda item accepting the resignation of 2 trustees.
The cost of the attorney and the distance to travel were well known back when they hired them. This board does not want to be held accountable for anything. They ran off a board member who was attempting to do things the proper way. This went against the “it’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality of this board. Now ready to fire an attorney. How long until we get another attorney? That’s not the important question, the important question is, when will they tire of the new attorney asking too many questions and decide to fire them as well? Two words I have heard repeatedly at board meetings are “ACCOUNTABILITY” and ‘PERCEPTION”. Well the perception is, there is no accountability with this board. There should be TWO resignations requested at this meeting and every meeting that occurs after that until they resign. The longer this board remains in tact it only proves that either you are part of the corruption OR turn a blind eye to it.
I am so glad we no longer have that board member anymore. Talk about personal agendas she was nothing but.
Business as usual down there maybe if there would be more time trying to follow city and state stautes instead of personal agendas this town would being to repair itself
So, the ugliness of government corruption comes (or apparently has been here for quite some time) to Luther. So very sad.
What are they thinking? The lawbreakers need to resign. Hiring an attorney not in the metro area is ridiculous. What an embarrassment for the residents of the town of Luther! We deserve better! The board needs to have a major overhaul. We need people who will behave in a professional manner that can’t be bought by the ‘good old boys’ mentality!