EL RENO — The Canadian County sheriff says his opponent in the GOP primary has too much of a past to be the county's top lawman.
Sheriff Randall Edwards, who will face challenger David Beaty in Tuesday's primary, said his opponent and former subordinate at the sheriff's department doesn't have the integrity to do the job.
The winner of Tuesday's election will face independent candidate Josh Moore, who also is a former employee of Edwards, in the November general election.
Edwards, 57, said Beaty has admitted to tampering with evidence and having an affair with a confidential source during a 1999 multicounty investigation of Faisal Mohammad and Jamil Mohammad, brothers accused of illegally distributing pseudoephedrine.
The Mohammads owned convenience stores and sold huge quantities of the drug during the time, which drew the attention of authorities. One of the stores was in El Reno, court records show.
The sheriff said Beaty's actions more than a decade ago remain just as relevant today as they were when they first came to light.
“I believe it is a reflection of character, and character is everything in law enforcement,” Edwards said. “Especially in a position of trust.”
Beaty, 44, doesn't deny the accusations being made against him. He said he tampered with surveillance equipment — essentially editing the recording — when he realized he and the confidential source had been taped during a conversation.
“I tried to hide it; I did,” he said. “I had an affair. Again, I was wrong.”
Beaty said he was never charged with a crime for tampering with the recording equipment — or for having an affair with the confidential source.
He said the Mohammad brothers still were served justice, despite defense attorneys' efforts to discredit the investigation after news of his affair with the confidential source.
“They served time in federal prison,” he said. “I'm not sure how long, but they were in prison.”
Beaty has continued to work in law enforcement until last year, even after he was fired by the Canadian County Sheriff's Department. He now works in private security and as a reserve officer for the Union City Police Department.