Oklahoma County judge accused of fraud wants her adopted children returned

BY NOLAN CLAY nclay@opubco.com Modified: February 28, 2011 at 12:25 am •  Published: February 28, 2011
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An Oklahoma County judge charged with fraud is asking the state Supreme Court to give her back two children she adopted last year.

The twin boy and girl have been in the custody of the Department of Human Services since the night District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure and her husband, Karlos Antonio LeSure, were charged in January.

The judge and her husband became foster parents to the children in 2008 then adopted them May 11. Prosecutors allege the judge and her husband secretly gave away the twins to her bailiff's sister, Ravonda Edwards, in 2008 and lied on adoption papers to conceal it. Prosecutors also allege the judge misused some state funds provided for the children's care. The judge has denied wrongdoing.

Edwards also goes by the last name Booker. The children, Jakobi and Jazlyn, officially were given the last name Booker at the time of their adoption. They are now 3.

Attorneys for Bass-LeSure and her husband told the Supreme Court the couple "at some point ... placed the minor children with Ravonda." The attorneys' legal brief gives no explanation for why the children were placed there.

Edwards is now facing felony charges accusing her of a series of violent acts against a former girlfriend. The attorneys for Bass-LeSure and her husband told the Supreme Court, "There is no imminent threat of harm to the children if the adoptive parents are willing to take the children home and not again place them in the dangerous home."

At a hearing Jan. 25, a Canadian County associate district judge, Bob Hughey, ruled the children will remain in DHS custody. A prosecutor told Hughey that DHS in 2009 had authorized Edwards to be an alternative caregiver in case of emergencies but "not to keep them and raise them."

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