MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 25, 2013

Ex-judge in drug court case will not be tried

Prosecution deferred for role in alleged embezzlement

By Dylan Goforth
Phoenix Staff Writer

— A former judge for McIntosh and Pittsburg counties received a deferred prosecution Thursday, and charges against him were dismissed.

William Harbert Layden Jr., had been charged with conspiracy against the state for his role in an alleged embezzlement scheme in the District 18 Drug Court Program.

In that case, Angela Marcum, the former drug court coordinator, is accused of embezzling nearly $28,000.

In the motion to dismiss Layden’s case filed in Pittsburg County, Layden denied wrongdoing, but agreed to the deferred prosecution as a compromise.  

An affidavit released by the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, Layden stated that during the investigation into Marcum’s alleged embezzlement, he believed she was being “unjustly accused.”

Layden, 62, stated he later learned that participants in the drug court were not being provided state issued receipts for payments. Some of the participants would receive no receipts for their transactions, while others would receive receipts on sticky notes that were “never properly documented.”

Layden admitted in the affidavit that he “took actions which in retrospect I should not have taken,” which could have hampered an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and multicounty grand jury investigation.

Terms of the agreement stipulate that Layden:

• Will pay $4,717.14 in restitution to the Oklahoma Office of the State Auditor — One-third of the cost of the audit of the District 18 Drug Court Program;

• Won’t violate city, state or federal law;

• Won’t hold public office or employment; and

• Won’t lie to any branch of government or government representative.

Upon completion, the state of Oklahoma will agree not to file conspiracy charges against Layden.

Two others are being prosecuted in the case.

Marcum has two separate criminal filings.

On June 2, 2011, she was charged with:

• Embezzlement of public money;

• Embezzlement of public property; and

• Six counts of stealing and destroying and/or secreting public book or record.

Marcum, 54, was charged with conspiracy against the state on Sept. 30, 2011. Marcum’s attorney, Shannon McMurray, said Marcum has a continued preliminary hearing scheduled for March.

The other co-defendant, James Miller, also was charged with conspiracy against the state on Sept. 30, 2011. Miller, 45, is awaiting trial, his attorney, Warren Gotcher, said.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.