Oklahoma City councilman pleads not guilty to embezzlement

May 15, 2018

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma City councilman has pleaded not guilty to felony charges that accuse him of taking at least $165,000 from charities under his control.

Oklahoma County court records indicate 35-year-old Councilman John A. Pettis Jr. pleaded not guilty Tuesday to three counts of embezzlement and one count of intentionally failing to file state income tax returns. Pettis was released on his own recognizance and a judge scheduled a preliminary hearing conference in the case for June 14.

Prosecutors filed the charges on Friday. Pettis is accused of taking funds from the Oklahoma Institute for Minority Affairs, a charity Pettis founded. He is also accused of making cash withdrawals from the Rhonda K Hutson Foundation, a charity whose stated mission is increasing awareness of an aggressive type of breast cancer.

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