- Associated Press - Friday, July 25, 2014

CLAREMORE, Okla. (AP) - The Rogers County clerk has sued the Claremore Daily Progress and its government reporter over claims the newspaper painted her in a false light and invaded her privacy.

Clerk Robin Anderson filed a lawsuit Thursday against the newspaper and reporter Salesha Wilken over the publication of three articles that ran between July 2012 and August 2013, according to a story published Friday in The Claremore Daily Progress (https://bit.ly/1omzZbj ).

The defendants have not been officially served notice of the litigation, according to the newspaper.

Anderson says the paper published misleading facts and in some instances implicated her in criminal wrongdoing. She says in the lawsuit that two articles about her involvement in the administration of $13 million in federal funds misrepresent facts.

The Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector issued several reports outlining noncompliance issues related to the grants. The issues included falsifying invoices and back-dating documents.

Anderson also claims that Wilken falsely alleged public records were withheld in August 2012. Wilken had sought access to minutes of two meetings. Anderson denied the request, saying the records were available on her computer but she would not print them.

Anderson filed a harassment complaint against Wilken.

Wilken told The Associated Press last December she was just looking for a better understanding of Rogers County’s finances when she sifted through 1,000 pages of records used in a state audit.

“You can’t make this stuff up if you tried,” Wilken said in December. “This thing has tentacles like crazy.”

Anderson is seeking both exemplary and punitive damages in excess of $75,000 and attorney fees.

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Information from: Claremore Daily Progress, https://www.claremoreprogress.com

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