District Attorney calls for state audit of Grady County
GRADY COUNTY, Okla. (KOKH) —
New findings show Grady County taxpayers may have been overpaying their elected officials for years.
The District Attorney says all eight of their elected officials have been overpaid since as far back as 2008 and up to as much as $20,000 each year.
D.A. Jason Hicks says when he found out about the possible discrepancy, he immediately called for a state audit.
"We asked the State Auditor's office to come in and take a look at it and explain to me," Hicks said, "so that we can explain to the taxpayers here in Grady County exactly what happened."
Yearly financial audits at the county level have happened each year, according to Hicks, but they don't audit salaries. Which is how, he says, this could have been missed for so many years.
Now, those elected officials are at the forefront of what looks like a scandal. Sheriff Jim Weir says that's not the case.
"To the general public it's going to look like all the elected officials were probably in on this, we should have known," Weir siad.
In fact, Weir sent a letter to Hicks on Tuesday asking him to take action. In the letter, he explained he's even offered to give up part of his salary to give deputies a raise but he was told that was against the law.
"It is a state law that says this is what elected officials are to be payed. So, every year I was told that amount and I figured that in my budget along with the deputies, and my needs and the request for the county excise board and that's what I turned in every year," Weir said.
As for where the confusion came from, Hicks and Weir both say they'll leave it up to the auditors to decide. In the meantime, Hicks has a message for taxpayers.
"We are going to take care of you," Hicks said, "and we are going to make sure the money gets back into the Grady County coffers."