KEYES — A Cimarron County commissioner who admits to taking gasoline from the county for his personal vehicle is under investigation for possible embezzlement.
“I made a mistake. I thought I was doing what was right, but it wasn’t, so I’ve had to face the consequences and go on,” District 3 Commissioner Tommy Grazier told The Oklahoman on Friday.
Grazier, 50, of Keyes, said he frequently uses his personal vehicle for county business and filled up his vehicle at the county barn on multiple occasions rather than filing forms to obtain reimbursement for his travels.
Grazier said he thought his actions were cheaper for the county.
“I just go to a lot of meetings. I forget to write down my mileage. It’s just one of those things,” he said.
“Instead of getting a $120 gas check from the county, why not just get $20 worth of gas?” Grazier said. “I actually thought it was cheaper. But, you know, everybody who does wrong has an excuse.
“I’m willing to take my lumps,” he said. “I made an honest mistake.”
Grazier said he was unsure how many times he had used gas from the county barn.
Keyes Police Chief Kevin McIntire and Cimarron County District Attorney James M. Boring confirmed the investigation Friday.
Boring said he asked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to appoint another prosecutor since his office represents the Cimarron County Commission on legal matters.
The attorney general Wednesday appointed Woodward County District Attorney Hollis Thorp to prosecute the case.
Thorp’s office is waiting to receive the case file before deciding what action to take, said Assistant District Attorney A. J. Laubhan.
Boring’s letter to the attorney general said he had received a law enforcement report and affidavit for an arrest warrant in which Grazier was listed as the suspect.
“The allegations include four felony counts of embezzlement,” the letter stated.