NEWKIRK — Former Kay County Commissioners Dee Schieber, 64, Kildare, and Tyson Grant Rowe, 36, Blackwell, were booked in the county jail on Monday morning. They were charged Friday in Kay County District Court by the Oklahoma State Auditor’s office.
Hope Taylor of the Garfield County District Attorney’s office is the prosecutor.
Schieber is facing seven misdemeanor charges of willful violation of law regulating official conduct. He was booked in the jail with his attorney James Schaefer present. Schieber’s bond was reduced from $25,000 to $10,000.
Rowe is facing a felony charge of racketeering, two felony embezzlement by a county officer, 12 counts of willful violation of law regulating official conduct and one count of embezzlement by a county officer. His bond is set at $100,000.
Allegations were raised against the pair following an audit that was launched in 2013 after the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office received a complaint on Feb. 20, 2013.
It was completed by the State Auditor’s office in December of 2015 and cost the county $90,416.66.
According to court documents Rowe is accused of the following:
• Participating in a pattern of racketeering between March 1, 2013 and Nov. 30, 2014. If convicted of racketeering Rowe could face not less than 10 years in prison.
Embezzlement of county property
• Indirectly receiving $5,580 of public funds from Kay County for work performed for the county while in office.
•Indirectly receiving $13,950 from public funds from the county for work performed for the county between March 13, 2013 and March 27, 2013.
• Indirectly receiving $20,000 of public funds from the county by selling his 1989 Atoka trailer to Kay County through the use of a third party. In the affidavit, a representative of Irwin Trailer Company LLC, Meeker, Okla., stated that Rowe asked Irwin to purchase his personal trailer so that Irwin could in turn sell the trailer to the county. As a result Irwin paid Rowe $20,000.
If convicted of the fore mentioned crimes he faces imprisonment for 1-20 years and a fine up to $500 on each count.
Embezzlement by County
• Between April 11, 2013 and May 13, 2013, Rowe allegedly participated in the conversion of public property, a 2012, 55 Ton Lowboy Detach Trailer as a trade in. On May 6, 2013 the county commissioners opened and accepted bids to purchase a 2013 trailer from Irwin Trailer Company at a value of $54,450 as well as accept a trade in for the 2012 county owned trailer at a value of $54,450.
The purpose was to assist Irwin Trailer Company to fulfill a customer order
• Between Jan. 2, 2014 and Nov. 31, 2014 he is accused of participating in the conversion of $180,00 of public funds belonging to the county to River Ridge Construction, Newark, by purchasing with public funds, an SP-80 vibratory pile driver from River Ridge Construction and then loaning the pile driver back to River Ridge Construction for its own benefit and use.
Embezzlement by Public
• Between Nov. 13, 2013 and May 27, 2014 Rowe allegedly diverted or participated in the diversion of $1,215,407 of money paid to the county by Blackwell Zinc Company for the purchase of land, sites or structures as part of a settlement agreement away from the purpose and object of the appropriation of said money as required by law. The funds should have been placed in a designated account which was created in advance of the receipt of the funds to be used for the purchase or construction of facilities.
If convicted he faces imprisonment for 1-10 years.
Willful Violation of Law Regulating Official Conduct
• On or about Nov. 13, 2013 by willful disobeying the law regulating his official conduct by not following the bidding and or purchasing procedures required for the expenditure of public funds for the construction of Bridge 22-A in Kay County.
(See COUNTY, Page 2)
Commissioners approved and caused a payment to be issued to River Ridge Construction in the amount of $46,861.90 with out taking bids.
• On July 25, 2013, requisitioning and causing a purchase order to be issued in the amount of $51,938.30 for costs associated with a public construction project on Bridge 114.
As a result commissioners approved and caused a payment to be issued to River Ridge Construction in the amount of $51,938.30.
• Between May 2013 and July 2014, Rowe and his designated purchasing agent requisitioned and caused 10 purchase 10 purchase orders to be issued totaling $1,6669, 538.74 for costs associated with a public construction project called the 44th Street Reconstruction Project. As a result, commissioners approved caused payments to be issued to River Ridge Construction and Duit Construction, Edmond, totaling $231,315.78 and $1,438,222.96 respectively with out taken bids.
• Between Sept. 23, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014, Rowe and his designated purchasing agent requisitioned and caused seven purchase orders to be issued totaling $700,466.89 for costs associated with Tonkawa Tribal Roads Reconstruction Project. As a result commissioners approved and caused payments to be issued to River Ridge Construction and Evans and Associates totaling $217,122.60 and $483,344.29 with out taking bids.
• Between March 12, 2012 and June 30, 2012, not follow procedures required for addenda to a public construction contract governing road construction of Blackwell Wind Farm Project in the county when it exceeded 15 percent cumulative increase to the original contract price.
• On March 26, 2012, disobeying the law by opening and awarding and or participating in the opening and awarding of a bid for road construction of Blackwell Wind Farm Project less than 20 days after one set of complete bidding documents were on file at the courthouse beginning March 12, 2012.
In three of the charges Rowe is accused of not following the bidding and purchasing procedures required for the purchase and trucking of material from Wells Built LLC, Arkansas City, Kan.
If convicted each charge is punishable by up to one year in county jail and or a $500 fine.
Schieber is accused of the following.
Willful Violation of Law
Regulating Official Conduct
• Between Aug. 13, 2013 and Dec. 5, 2013 not following bidding and or purchase procedures in the construction of headwalls on Traders Bend Road resulting in commissioners approving a payment to be issued to River Ridge in the amount of $13,251.27 without taking bids as required.
• Between July 1, 2013 and Dec. 7, 2013 not following bidding and purchase procedures for the construction of Oakland Avenue Road Project resulting in commissioners approving a payment of $155,286.20 to River Ridge Construction. with out taking bids.
• Between July 5, 2012 and Jan. 18, 2013, Schieber requisitioned and caused a series of purchase orders to be issued in relation to the courthouse parking lot project resulting in commissioner a series of payments to River Ridge Construction totaling $325,698.27 with out taking bids.
• On or about Nov. 6, 2013 communications occurred between Schieber a River Ridge Construction, employees and others regarding the Pecan Road Project. Schieber signed a contract-project cost submittal that was also signed by the owner Darren Wood, River Ridge Construction owner, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs Roads Engineer approving the project in the amount of $1,749,006. No official bidding occurred. River Ridge was ultimately paid $1,715,894.24 by the county.
• On or about Feb. 14, 2014 Schieber requisitioned and caused a purchase order to be issued to River Ridge for $1,700,000 for construction worked to be performed on Pecan Road. As a result commissioners approved a series of payments to River Ridge Construction totaling $1,715,894.24 for costs associated with the project. Although the project had bene bid with another company, who submitted the lowest bid, those bids were disregarded and River Ridge completed the project.
• Between Oct. 10, 2013 and Oct. 17, 2013 Schieber requisitioned and caused a purchase order to be issued for costs related to the purchase and transporting of native material. The purchase order included the notation “no bid native material” and listed per-ton cost of $7. At the time the law provided that “when materials for road or bridge improvements do not exceed $3 per ton. the county did not have to follow bidding procedures. The purchase order resulted in the payment of $15,681.08 to Wells Built LLC with no bids obtained.
• Between July 11, 2011 and Sept. 26, 2011 commissioners agreed to sell county land with out getting an appraisal.