OSBI opens investigation into Wagoner County commissioner


District 27 District Attorney Jack Thorp has turned over an investigation of a county commissioner to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Thorp said.

The investigation in question concerns Wagoner County District 1 Commissioner James Hanning, who is alleged to have "inappropriately touched" a child 18 years ago, according to a letter from Thorp to the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office. 

As district attorney for Wagoner County, Thorp is required to represent commissioners in prosecutorial matters, which prompted him to recuse himself from the investigation, he said.

"I then recused with the Attorney General’s office, because we represent the County Commissioners and I didn’t want the appearance of impropriety," Thorp said. "Once I received the information, I did contact the OSBI and reported to them and asked them to look into it."

The investigation may lead to criminal charges, Thorp noted in his letter to the OAG's office.

"While I'm unaware of any prior criminal complaint being made against Hanning, it is possible that the statute of limitations has not expired," Thorp writes. "Hence, there is the possibility lawful charges may be filed, should your investigation determine the allegations are true."

OSBI Agent Brad Green subsequently accepted the case, according to Thorp's letter. 

Details regarding the case remain scarce; because Thorp recused himself from the investigation, he said, he did not possess much of the information about the complaint.

"I don’t know anything about the truth of it or any facts," Thorp said. "When you recuse, you don’t have anything to do with it anymore."

The OSBI and Hanning did not return multiple calls for comment. 

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