By Tim Farley
Canadian County District Attorney Mike Fields has decided not to pursue criminal charges against former Yukon City Manager Grayson Bottom in connection with alleged financial irregularities from 2015 to 2017.
Fields made his announcement early Friday in a public statement. Bottom declined to comment on Fields’ decision.
“The criminal investigation found no evidence of embezzlement, theft, or that anyone was unjustly enriched. The criminal investigation also did not find evidence of violations of state criminal statutes,” Fields said. “While I believe the investigation generally confirmed previous findings that called into question some aspects of the City of Yukon’s fiscal management, disclosures, and oversight, those matters are not governed by the state’s criminal code and are therefore outside the scope of my authority,”
Fields and his assistants took more than a year to review investigative files compiled by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.
Agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation conducted a months-long probe of Bottom’s financial dealings while employed with Yukon.
Part of the criminal probe involves a large number of emails that were written during Bottom’s time as city manager, a city official said. The content of the emails has not been disclosed.
The council decided in December 2015 not to renew Bottom’s contract based on alleged financial irregularities from audits and financial statements. An audit performed by Frank Crawford, president of Crawford and Associates, revealed the alleged mismanagement by Bottom left the city in a significant budget hole. The audit findings showed the city’s reserve balances declined by 44 percent from 2012 to 2015, but the council was never told.
Although the audit never found any money was missing, city leaders said $1.3 million was misappropriated when bond funds for capital improvement projects were transferred to a general operating account to pay monthly bills.
City officials claimed in October 2015 the city council was unaware of the transfer of money. A forensic accountant later discovered the city “had been using its reserves to pay expenses for a number of years” and did not have enough money to pay its bills for the rest of the 2015-2016 fiscal year.