McALESTER — Prosecutors have dropped a conspiracy charge against a former Pittsburg County special judge after he agreed never to hold public office again and to pay $4,717 in restitution to the state auditor.
William H. “Bill” Layden Jr., 62, was accused in the 2011 felony case of conspiring to obstruct an embezzlement investigation involving Pittsburg County's drug court.
The investigation resulted in an embezzlement indictment against former drug court administrator Angela Marcum.
Marcum, 41, is accused in the still-pending case of embezzling more than $27,950 in fees collected from drug court participants.
The conspiracy charge against Layden was dismissed Wednesday after he signed a deferred prosecution agreement. He continues to deny wrongdoing.
Under the agreement with Attorney General Scott Pruitt, the former judge could be prosecuted further if he violates any laws, does not tell the truth, fails to make restitution payments or holds public office.
A deferred prosecution is different from a deferred sentence.
Layden was a special judge from January 2006 to October 2011. He oversaw the Pittsburg County drug court.
In an affidavit, Layden admitted he “took actions which in retrospect I should not have taken” after learning in May 2010 the state's multicounty grand jury was investigating the drug court and that there would be an audit.
“I was unduly trusting of Ms. Marcum and at the time believed she was being unjustly accused,” he stated. “The evidence I have now seen makes me believe the state can prove Ms. Marcum did embezzle funds from the District 18 Drug Court and that she used me in an effort to deflect attention to drug court participants and away from herself.”
Prosecutors also dropped a perjury charge against Layden. A trial over the perjury case had been set for next week in Oklahoma County District Court.