Lame duck sheriff will not face some charges;
others referred for further investigation

(MUSKOGEE, Okla.) -- It became a win-lose-and-wait situation for embattled Muskogee County Sheriff Cliff Sinyard.

A special prosecutor appointed to look into Sinyard's alleged budgetary mismanagement and other problems outlined by a critical state audit announced Nov. 17 that he will not prosecute the lawman on certain counts.

However, prosecutor Charles Rogers said he will request an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation probe into other counts. Those counts include allegations that Sinyard misused federal grant money and inappropriately used prisoners' personal funds meant for commissary purchases.

Rogers, a Payne County assistant district attorney who took the case after the Muskogee County district attorney recused himself, said the request to the OSBI does not mean anyone believes Sinyard committed a crime.

"Such a request only reflects our opinion that such matters bear further investigation," Rogers said.

Sinyard, who suffered a decisive re-election loss to Democrat Charles Pearson earlier this month, said he is innocent of all allegations and welcomed the OSBI probe.

(iSyndicate; Nov. 18, 2000) Terms and Conditions: Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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