The Oklahoma Attorney General's office has assigned a case involving the misappropriation of funds from the Love County Sheriff's Department to District Attorney Jason Hicks.
Tom Bates, First Assistant Attorney General, reassigned the case at District Attorney Craig Ladd's request.
Ladd told The Ardmoreite March 8 he asked that he and his office be recused from the case after reviewing the report of the OSBI's investigation into allegations of missing funds.
"The report indicated that in late 2012, an employee of the Love County Sheriff's Office misappropriated a sum of cash which had been seized in the summer of 2012, during a traffic stop in Love County. The money was seized because of its suspected link to drug trafficking. Following the seizure of said money and prior to its misappropriation, the money was kept in a safe at the Love County Sheriff's Department," Ladd said.
The district attorney said he asked the case be assigned to another prosecutor's office for three reasons.
"Myself and District 20 employee, Love County Assistant District Attorney Tim Burson, serve as legal advisors to the Love County Sheriff. Furthermore, both myself and Mr. Burson have worked closely with the suspect in this matter on various cases. In addition, the entities which would have been most affected by a misappropriation of the money in question is the Love County Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney's Offices of District 20," Ladd said.
"Because of these reasons and in an effort to avoid the appearance of any impropriety in regards to filing decisions or the manner in which the case will be prosecuted, I requested the Attorney General to assign a different district attorney to review this matter and then take the appropriate action."
Bates formally announced the reassignment in a letter to Ladd dated Monday.
Hicks serves as District 6 District Attorney which includes Stephens, Caddo, Grady and Jefferson counties.