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IRS audit examines cost of new Cleveland County jail

Despite an ongoing audit by the Internal Revenue Service, a Cleveland County commissioner denied that a $52 million bond issued to a build a new jail has been mishandled.
by Andrew Knittle Published: November 17, 2012

Dillingham said the IRS audit is apparently random in nature, adding that she “wouldn't have any way to know” if some other entity requested the inquiry.

Cleveland said the initial letter from the IRS was addressed to the justice authority's attorney, which is why it is being withheld from the public.

He said the letter asked the authority to provide “about 10 things” as part of the audit.

“Which is … we need to see your bank deposits … we want to see where you spent your money at … who you deposit it with,” the commissioner said. “It was those things.”

Agent visits jail, gets data

The IRS agent, who toured the new jail and county offices in mid-October, also collected bond documents and visited with the jail authority's lawyers.

Dillingham said the county provided the federal agency with “well over a thousand pages” of documents related to the jail's construction.

Questions about tax

Cleveland County residents in 2008 approved a quarter-cent tax to fund repayment of the bond, and the money has been flowing in since then.

Concerned members of the public have questioned what will happen to the “extra” money once the jail is paid off — which is likely going to be very early.

Commissioners have long said that they will end the tax if the jail's debt is paid off.

Dillingham said the IRS inquiry is ongoing and that “a final letter” has not been received from the federal agency.

by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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