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Former Councilman Facing Criminal Felony Charges

May 8 Is Date Set For Preliminary

Former City Councilman John A. Pettis Jr. (Ward 7) is facing criminal felony charges on matters allegedly committed while he was a member of the council.

The scheduling of a preliminary hearing has been set as continuations of a preliminary hearing conference were allowed after criminal felony charges were filed on May 111 of last year by the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office.

The date for a preliminary hearing is now May 8.

The most recent preliminary hearing conference was April 1, at which Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater appeared, himself.

Former City Councilman Pettis also appeared at the hearing conference and he was accompanied by his attorney, Mark Kendriksen.

The former councilman resigned last year just months after winning reelection to another four-year term.

The first preliminary hearing conference was held on June 14, and the second was held on July 17.

That conference was continued on Aug. 21, and was again continued on Sept. 26.

Continuations of the preliminary hearing conference were held in December and January.

The former city councilman is being charged with several counts of embezzlement and with a count of failing to file income tax returns for years 2009-2017.

The embezzlement charges stem from allegations that Mr. Pettis established a number of charities and non-profit organizations and, essentially, lived off withdrawals from checking accounts for those charities.

Shortly before he resigned, Councilman Pettis announced he would seek election to succeed Oklahoma County Commissioner Willa Johnson (Dem., District I), who had announced days before she planned to retire and not seek reelection.

Because he had earlier filed for the county commissioner post vacated by Mrs. Johnson, his name appeared on the ballot when Democratic primary election day rolled around. He did not make it to the runoff.

John Albert Pettis Sr., the former councilman’s father, filed for election to his son’s Ward 7 seat, but lost in that election.

Former City Councilman John A. Pettis Jr. entering a courtroom a few days ago to attend a preliminary hearing conference. ..To read more, subscribe to the blackchronicle newspaper