A petition for Writ of Replevin filed by Flo Sweeten, former owner of the Blue Rooster gift shop in the Gene Autry Historical Museum, was denied by Special Judge Carson Brooks, who also dismissed the same filing against Gene Autry Mayor Kyle Lawson.
Carson noted Sweeten had failed to meet the requirements of the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act by not filing a notice of claim with the town of Gene Autry. The only relief sought by Sweeten was replevin or return of items in the gift shop. The court also noted although the point was moot, testimony was insufficient to meet the burden in a replevin action.
Sweeten can file a civil action to regain some of the gift shop items.
Among the findings made by the court:
Sweeten did not have a lease nor did she pay money to Gene Autry for a lease to operate the Blue Rooster inside the museum. Sweeten provided the court with a list of items that she claimed ownership in that were contained in the Blue Rooster, she also testified she did not keep inventory and most items were off the top of her head. Some items claimed belonged to the museum Some items were purchased with an American Express card provided by her husband The District Attorney’s office is investigating embezzlement and theft of funds that were used to purchase pre-paid American Express cards by Mrs. Sweeten’s husband. “This represents another step moving in the right direction,” Lawson said. “We are glad to have this behind us and it gives me more time to focus on the town.”