Share “Oklahoma volunteer fire department land...”

Oklahoma volunteer fire department land sold for $100 because of clerical error

A Canadian County employee was able to purchase a plot of land that houses the Cedar Lake Fire Department for $100, leaving the volunteer fire fighters there wondering if they will be forced to move to a new location.
by Graham Lee Brewer Published: June 3, 2014


photo - 
Randy Gipson is shown Tuesday at the Cedar Lake Volunteer Fire Department, east of Hinton in Canadian County. As a result of a clerical oversight, the land on which the fire department’s station is located was included in a county land auction.  Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
  Jim Beckel - 
THE OKLAHOMAN
Randy Gipson is shown Tuesday at the Cedar Lake Volunteer Fire Department, east of Hinton in Canadian County. As a result of a clerical oversight, the land on which the fire department’s station is located was included in a county land auction. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Jim Beckel - THE OKLAHOMAN

A clerical error allowed a county-owned plot of land that houses a volunteer fire department to be sold for $100, possibly jeopardizing the future of the department’s headquarters.

In April, land that houses the Cedar Lake Fire Department was accidentally put up for sale as a tax delinquent property, said District 2 Canadian County Commissioner David Anderson.

“My position is that we made a mistake, we’re human beings, and we make mistakes, and we want to take whatever legal steps we can to retain ownership and continue its use as a fire station,” Anderson said.

The land was bought by a man named Howie Sutton, a maintenance employee who works in the same building as the Canadian County commissioner’s office.

Canadian County records show Sutton has bought several Cedar Lake properties in the past two years for prices ranging from $2,000 to $16,000.

No other bids were placed on the property, and Sutton was able to purchase it for $100 in May, Anderson said. He said Sutton has hired an attorney and plans to fight any legal attempts to reclaim the land for the fire department.

A reporter for The Oklahoman tried to speak with Sutton at his place of employment, but he declined to comment.

According to the deed, when the Western Sportsman Club — a part of Cedar Lake community — donated the lot for the fire department it also created a stipulation giving them the option to buy back the land if it were to ever be sold by Canadian County.

The Western Sportsman Club was never given the option to buy back the land, and the sale of the lot is not legal, Assistant District Attorney Paul Hesse asserted in a petition filed Tuesday. The filing also noted since the property was county-owned it could not have been auctioned for tax delinquency.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Graham Lee Brewer
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Graham Lee Brewer began his career as a journalist covering Oklahoma's vibrant music scene in 2006. After working as a public radio reporter for KGOU and then Oklahoma Watch he went on to cover the Oklahoma Senate for eCapitol before joining the...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Texas’ Joe Wickline suing Oklahoma State
  2. 2
    Father who reportedly gave children prescription drugs jailed on neglect charge
  3. 3
    OU football: DeMarco Murray purchased iMacs for the Dallas Cowboys offensive line
  4. 4
    26 Percent Of Young Women Report That They Have Been Stalked Online
  5. 5
    UNC Officials Failed To Stop 18-Year Long Student Athlete Academic Fraud: Report
+ show more