Two former Kay County commissioners charged after audit report
Team Radio Marketing Group - April 3, 2017 10:52 am
- Kay County awarded more than $5 million in public construction and reconstruction projects in apparent violation of the Public Competitive Bidding Act.
- Kay County utilized term bid contracts to circumvent the Public Competitive Bidding Act. Of 10 contracts reviewed, ranging from over $13,000 to $1.9 million, all had been awarded through the County’s term bids or through no bids at all.
- Commissioner Dee Schieber, BIA Regional Roads Engineer Tom Simpson, and River Ridge Construction collaborated in the execution of the $1.7 million North Pecan Road project. Commissioner Schieber entered into an agreement without bids and outside of his statutory authority. Kay County did not obtain a contract from the vendor, failed to obtain proof of bonding or insurance from the contractor, and paid $350,000 in projected “mobilization” costs to “cover up-front expenses”.
- Kay County overpaid River Ridge Construction more than $500,000 as part of the Blackwell Wind Farm Roads project.
- In 2014, Commissioner Tyson Rowe and River Ridge Construction’s owner circumvented purchasing laws in Kay County’s acquisition of a $180,000 vibratory pile driver. After acquiring the pile driver, the County continued to allow River Ridge Construction to use it on county projects.
- Commissioners Tyson Rowe and Dee Schieber appeared to have manipulated the bidding process to purchase, trade, finance, and sell trailers. Over the course of a year, Kay County, Irwin Trailer, and River Ridge Construction participated in the buying and selling of almost a dozen belly dump trailers.
- Commissioner Tyson Rowe’s private business subcontracted with River Ridge Construction to perform work for Kay County on two projects totaling nearly $20,000, in apparent violation of the Oklahoma Constitution.
Bond for Schieber was set at $25,000. Bond for Rowe was set at $100,000.
Court records show Garfield County District Attorney is the prosecutor in the cases. Charges were filed by the Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector’s office.