ARDMORE, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma sheriff requested a sexual relationship with one of his female employees in exchange for hiring her husband, investigators said Thursday.
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Carter County Sheriff Milton Anthony at his office about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was booked into the county jail on a felony bribery charge and released after posting a $20,000 bond.
Anthony, 65, who has been sheriff of the southern Oklahoma county since January 2014, didn't immediately return a telephone call to his office seeking comment. It was not immediately clear if he is represented by an attorney.
The female employee's husband was hired shortly after the sexual contact started, and sexual contact between the sheriff and the employee continued for several months, according to the OSBI. When the woman tried to end the contact, Anthony allegedly insinuated he would alter her work hours and even fire her and her husband if she did not continue with their agreement.
The woman began saving the sheriff's texts and recorded a conversation between her and the sheriff in April. The OSBI said the communications are considered evidence in the bribery case.
If convicted, Anthony faces a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison and forfeiture of his office.
Anthony is the latest Oklahoma sheriff in recent years to face legal problems.
Wagoner County Sheriff Robert Steven Colbert and a sheriff's captain were indicted by Oklahoma's multicounty grand jury in March on felony counts of bribery and extortion. The pair is accused of taking $10,000 from two motorists in exchange for not pursuing drug charges against them in December 2014.
Longtime Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz resigned in November after being indicted on misdemeanor charges involving an investigation of his agency following the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a volunteer reserve sheriff's deputy who said he mistook his handgun for his stun gun. Glanz has pleaded not guilty.
The former reserve deputy, wealthy insurance executive Robert Bates, 74, was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday after being convicted of second-degree manslaughter.