- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

CLAREMORE, Okla. (AP) - Members of the Rogers County Commission voted Monday to ask Oklahoma’s attorney general to take steps to remove an indicted colleague from office.

The district attorney’s office had recommended that commissioners ask Mike Helm to resign or take a leave of absence. DA spokeswoman Michelle Lowry told the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/1JLZR6Z ) the remaining commissioners agreed to ask Attorney General Scott Pruitt for help.

Commissioners Ron Burrows and Dan Delozier voted to send a letter seeking Helm’s removal for “disruption of county business.”

Helm told the newspaper that he would fight to keep his job.

“I’m the elected county commissioner,” Helm said in a telephone interview. “I still think we live in the United States of America. I still think we’re innocent until proven guilty. I will work vigorously with my attorney to defend myself and be vindicated.”

A grand jury this month accused Helm and a former commissioner of conspiracy to defraud the county. Helm is charged with embezzlement, as well.

In a letter to the commissioners, Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Lepak wrote that, as a defendant, Helm is “entitled to due process and a presumption of innocence. As an elected official, however, he is not entitled to be free from criticism and oversight from this Board and the public.”

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