Funds and property seized by Oklahoma law enforcement agencies have gone missing or have been used for personal or other improper purposes, state audit records reveal.
Among the violations were using seized money to pay on a prosecutor's student loans and allowing a prosecutor to live rent-free in a confiscated house for years, records show.
The cases were cited in a state commission hearing Tuesday in which authorities objected to new legislation aimed at curbing abuses of civil asset forfeiture by state and local law enforcement agencies. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, has spurred heated opposition from district attorneys and sheriffs.
Forfeiture involves law enforcement agencies seizing private property and money believed to have been used in drug trafficking or other crimes. After the assets are forfeited in court, authorities can keep the money or property even when the suspect is never convicted or charged.
Sign up for a weekly newsletter from Oklahoma Watch
Support the only statewide investigative reporting publication in Oklahoma. Your contributions are tax-deductible and will help sustain efforts to produce high-quality, in-depth reports on the most pressing issues facing the state.