- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ANTLERS, Okla. (AP) - Authorities said two officials in a southeastern Oklahoma county are under investigation for possible purchasing irregularities.

Both Pushmataha County Commissioner Jerry Duncan and his brother, Sheriff Terry Duncan, have denied any wrongdoing to The Oklahoman newspaper (https://bit.ly/1DAfKg6 ).

District Attorney Mark Matloff said he asked the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to look into the matter after getting a state audit report last week.

In the report, a vendor said Commissioner Jerry Duncan asked him to alter an invoice to make it appear a motor and diesel pump were being purchased instead of four tires that were actually bought.

The vendor told auditors he thought he saw the tires later on Duncan’s personal vehicle, but Duncan says he paid for the tires with his own money.

Other findings by auditors include Duncan failing to solicit bids in purchasing a used truck for $10,000; owning a small hunting cabin on his property that’s not listed on tax records, and performing work on Antlers city and school property without interlocal agreements.

Auditors also found that Duncan didn’t ask solicit bids for nearly $47,000 worth of bulldozer work completed without the commission’s approval. Duncan said he saved money and time by allowing someone else besides the winning bidder to do the job, because the winning bidder didn’t have a “dozer big enough.”

“They can investigate whatever they want,” Duncan said. “I’ve got proof of what I’ve done and I don’t worry about it too much. I don’t see how the OSBI could not clear me. “

The report also noted Sheriff Terry Duncan split purchase orders to avoid a bidding process, which he denies. Auditors said the sheriff separately bought a 2009 Ford Expedition Police Special Service Package for $9,999 and an emergency lighting package for $3,500.

“I didn’t do nothing knowingly or willingly wrong, unethical or illegal,” he said.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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