OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A multicounty grand jury has indicted a former
southeastern Oklahoma district attorney's investigator on more than 30
counts, his lawyer said Friday.
Michael Shane Hilburn was ordered to appear next week in
Oklahoma County District Court to answer allegations he mishandled
drug task force funds, attorney Douglas Dry said.
A district judge overseeing the grand jury sealed three
indictments issued by the panel on Thursday. Five arrest warrants
were authorized, but none of the other defendants have been identified.
State Auditor Clifton Scott requested and Attorney General
Drew Edmondson approved an inquiry of the drug task force in the
office of District Attorney Mike Sullivan, who oversees LeFlore and
Hilburn worked for Sullivan until earlier this year.
Dry said he spoke Friday with a state assistant attorney general
who told him Hilburn would be indicted on "quite a few counts, over 30."
Dry said he doesn't know what charges Hilburn faces or who the
other defendants are. His client resigned from Sullivan's office
after working there from November 1989 until April 30, 1996.
Representatives from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
and the state Auditor and Inspector's office began reviewing task
force records several days after Hilburn left.
Investigators began looking into the task force's dealings after
a routine audit showed a drug task force receipt book for fiscal
year 1995 had been discarded.
The book contained dates and amounts paid to informants.
Gary Buckles, Sullivan's first assistant, said Hilburn threw the
book away because it contained sensitive information such as informants'
Buckles also said Hilburn thought auditors had finished
reviewing the records.
Sullivan and Hilburn's lawyer said Hilburn left the office to
attend law school and not because of the probe.
Bruce Walker, executive director of the Oklahoma District Attorneys
Council, said investigators have been instructed to keep receipt
books for three years.
Powers said the indictments will remain sealed until the defendants
appear in court. "Without saying what the grand jury has been
looking at, this resolves an OSBI investigation," said Assistant
Attorney General Kent Sutton.
Sullivan said investigators have not discussed details of their
investigation with him, or if they believe drug task force money was
"I want to see what happened. I have second-hand information,
... but I have no knowledge of who it was," Sullivan said.
Attorney Warren Gotcher, who represents current investigator
Charles Love, said his client had no control over task force funds
and said he'd be surprised if Love was indicted.
The investigation isn't the latest problem for Sullivan's staff.
Office secretary, Rosa Lee Zearley, was indicted Sept. 13 by the
multicounty grand jury on a charge of obtaining money by making false