MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

June 18, 2014

OSBI helps with investigation of alleged misappropriation at Tahlequah Chamber

— TAHLEQUAH — Agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation will assist the Tahlequah Police Department as officers look into the alleged misappropriation of funds within the local Chamber of Commerce.

Police Chief Nate King on Monday confirmed he requested the OSBI’s help after meeting with Chamber board members.

Chamber Executive Director David Moore resigned abruptly last Thursday evening via email. His phone was later disconnected and his Facebook page taken offline. Moore had been away from the Chamber office throughout the week, and employees there said he had called in sick.

Tourism Director Kate Kelly, who is on paid administrative leave, has declined comment.

Letters and minutes of a June 3 Tourism Council board meeting identify one allegation as a lapse of Kelly’s medical and dental insurance.

Tourism Board Chairwoman Amanda Pritchett on Monday provided the Daily Press with minutes of the board’s June 3 meeting. Board members voted to send letters to Chamber of Commerce Board President Stanley Young and Tahlequah City Attorney Park Medearis to reveal allegations “that the medical and dental insurance for the tourism director have lapsed,” minutes show.

In the letter, Pritchett said the tourism board “would like to request an official response from the Chamber board as to who made this decision and why.”

The Chamber of Commerce board is set to meet at 5 p.m. today to appoint an interim Chamber director; to discuss the establishment of new bank accounts; and to consider extending current board terms until July 1, 2015.

During a meeting Monday evening, members of the Tahlequah City Council chose to continue sending hotel-motel tax funds to the Chamber, but agreed they could reconsider and suspend the money if details surface that show the funds could be “in jeopardy,” as Medearis explained.

“If the city is in possession of confirmable information that would indicate those (tax dollars) are in jeopardy of being misused or improperly used, I think the city would have an obligation to technically breach the contract that it has with the Chamber,” Medearis said.

Medearis and Mayor Jason Nichols both said they had received no information as of Monday confirming misappropriation of funds related to the tax.

Josh Newton writes for the Tahlequah Daily Press.

1
Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks