Prosecutors have declined prosecution against Shawnee City Commissioner Micheal Dykstra following allegations that he tried to bribe a fellow city commissioner.

Prosecutors have declined prosecution against Shawnee City Commissioner Micheal Dykstra following allegations that he tried to bribe a fellow city commissioner.

In September, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) finished an investigation into the allegations and spokeswoman Jessica Brown said the report was given to Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon.

In a formal letter written Monday to OSBI Special Agent David Gatlin, Smothermon made note that several people had questioned if his office handling the case would be considered a conflict of interest.

“While I do not believe that my office has a conflict in ruling on the merits of this investigation, in order to avoid the appearance of any impropriety, I requested that another district attorney review the matter,” Smothermon said.

The case was forwarded to Greg Mashburn, district attorney for Cleveland, Garvin and McClain counties.

Mashburn shared his findings with Smothermon in a letter dated Dec. 7.

“At your request, I have reviewed the…investigation. I do not believe criminal charges would be warranted for two reasons: 1) a gift or gratuity was never offered and 2) Gerhart v. State, 2015 OK CR 12, seems to control such a scenario,” Mashburn said.

Based on Mashburn’s findings and the recent Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruling, Smothermon’s letter noted, “Prosecution is hereby declined in this matter.”

During the investigation Dykstra would not comment on the allegations.

“I was elected to do a job and I’m trying to do it. This is old Shawnee politics, and I don’t want to dignify it with a response,” he said.

After learning of the decision Monday evening, Dykstra said he felt like he had just received an early Christmas present.

“We’ve got the new year to look forward to, and now we can put this behind us,” Dykstra said. “With the new year I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners to improve our great city.”

Allegations first surfaced back in May. Then-Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz said the police department had received some information and –– because of the nature of it –– they immediately handed it over to the OSBI.

Those claims came from former Shawnee Ward 1 City Commissioner Gary Vogel.

Vogel, an insurance agent, resigned his seat on the city commission on April 6, 2015, citing health reasons.

Though OSBI couldn’t share the investigative report when the investigation was completed in September, Vogel said he alleged that a fellow commissioner, as well as three others in the community, had tried to pressure him to vote in support of de-annexation items brought to the commission.

Vogel said he was getting visits from advocates for Citizen Potawatomi Nation trying to separate themselves from the City of Shawnee.

He claimed that Ward 6 Commissioner Dykstra visited his place of business on two occasions, telling him that he would be promoted among CPN members as “the guy to do business with” if he agreed to support de-annexation.

Vogel and Dykstra were both sworn in the same day –– along with Ward 5 Commissioner Lesa Shaw –– after being elected to the city commission in June.

 

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