Oklahoma City councilman to plead not guilty, attorney says
An attorney told The Associated Press on Monday that Ward 7 Oklahoma City Councilman John Pettis would plead not guilty to embezzlement and tax charges.
Pettis was charged Friday in Oklahoma County District Court with three counts of embezzlement and one count of intentionally failing to file state income tax returns.
Prosecutors alleged Pettis, 35, converted money from charities under his control for his own use.
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From the AP:
“Defense attorney Mark Henricksen said Monday that Pettis is expected to appear in court later this week and will plead not guilty to the charges. Henricksen declined further comment in the case.”
Henricksen did not immediately return a phone call from The Oklahoman.
Pettis is one year into his second four-year term on the council. He won re-election to his northeast-side council seat last year with 80.7 percent of the vote.
In five years on the council, Pettis has advocated for economic development and jobs for predominantly African-American northeast side neighborhoods.
Pettis is the current council representative on the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board.
He is on the board of the Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust and the Oklahoma City Zoological Trust, which governs the zoo.
He serves on the TIF No. 9 Northeast Renaissance Committee.
Nationally, he represents Oklahoma City on the National League of Cities' Human Development Committee. The committee develops policy positions on issues including poverty, employment and workforce development.