With just a few months left in office, Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon is residing in rental housing within the district after his McLoud home was placed on the market for sale and sold much sooner than expected.
Smothermon, who said it's been an honor to serve as district attorney for the past 16 years, chose not to seek another four-year term because of his planned 2020 retirement so he isn't up for re-election in November. As a result, his last day in office will be Dec. 31, 2018. A newly-elected district attorney will take office on Jan. 1, 2019.
Recently, concerns were aired over Smothermon's residential status after public reports showed his McLoud home has been sold and that he and his wife have purchased a home in another county.
State Statutes indicate the district attorney “shall reside” in the district from which the district attorney was elected during the term of office. The District 23 judicial district includes Pottawatomie and Lincoln Counties.
Smothermon, on Thursday, said the sale of his McLoud home went much quicker than anticipated, but he has rental housing locally until he concludes his term.
“When my wife and I decided not to run for a fifth term, we made the decision that we would move closer to our children and our grandchildren. To my surprise, our McLoud home sold after only six days on the market,” he said.
“I have always done my best to follow the laws of the State of Oklahoma, and I want to assure you that I have rented a residence in this district that I intend to keep until the end of my term,” Smothermon told the News-Star about his residential status.
“The allegation otherwise was made by someone running for my office that I simply do not support, and who did not ask me about my residence directly, but instead, chose to make this claim behind my back. I would encourage that candidate to focus on the true issues in his race.”