Monday, October 08, 2012

Whetsel and Co. Threatening Bloggers?

Is Sheriff Whetsel and his cohorts trying to scare bloggers into not exposing the truth? According to an article by the Sooner Tea Party, they are being threatened with legal action regarding an article they wrote about his ties to a suspicious middle Eastern fellow and one blogger has already removed their post about it, possibly due to threat of legal action. Well, let’s see if The Otter Limits can get the fires burning on this situation.

Seems to me that when you are using your position to unlawfully threaten private citizens and trying to deny them of their Constitutional right to freedom of speech (and freedom of the press if you want to go there) then, you do not belong in that position anymore.

It is the job of the County Sheriff not only to provide law enforcement for those in unincorporated areas and not only to provide for the safety and security of the inmates that are housed in the county detention centers, but it is also the job of the County Sheriff to protect every county citizen's constitutional rights.  If you haven't done your job in the 16 years that you have been doing it, you have no right to continue doing it.

Here is the article “So You Think You Can Scare the Tea Party?”
We ran a story on September 9th outlining a major security breach that Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel had caused when he is alleged to have allowed a wealthy dentist to “pay for play” through massive donations to the sheriff department.
The story centered on allegations of Eli Tanios Jarjoura, a wealthy dentist of Lebanese or Syrian descent who comes from a Beirut Lebanon family. What caused the suspicion was a reported massive increase in personal wealth, unusual access to law enforcement data, massive donations to the sheriff department, allegations of flight training not followed up by obtaining a pilot’s license, and his access to a very, very, advanced communication system that sheriff department insiders claim can access Homeland Security and FBI warnings and updates.

Mr. Jarjoura also had allegations of irregularities concerning his acceptance into a CLEET law enforcement training program as a felony arrest was still on his record at the time he was accepted into CLEET. The 1994 arrest information comes from the OSCN network and contains numerous entries documenting the alleged arrest and the process until the case was dismissed with costs. In 2009 Mr. Jarjoura had hired a law firm to expunge the arrest record and was successful, but some sources are claiming that there appear to be ill regularities in the expungement that cause them to wonder if the expungement was completed.

Regardless, the final expungement document was filed in April according to the OSCN network website document and Jarjoura was allegedly accepted to CLEET in March so any sort of competent background check should have revealed the felony arrest, especially if it was still up on the OSCN as of early this month. Was the case sealed? We think it might have been but that doesn’t excuse the failure to find the previous arrest record and delay CLEET participation until the problem had been solved. I would like to know who did the actual background check on Mr. Jarjoura and if it was the Oklahoma Sheriffs office that had a vested interest in pleasing the wealthy donor.

Mr. Jarjoura is also facing a federal civil indictment for Medicad fraud according to federal case numbernumber CV-00025-L filed in the Western District of Oklahoma. The case covers covers eleven dentists or professional corporations that are either partners involved in Bright Smiles dental company or closely tied with them and the court case alleges $15,000,000.00 in Medicare fraud at seven locations of the Bright Smiles dental company. The federal government is alleging that Mr. Jarjoura and his associates offered illegal inducements for Medicade/Sooner Care patients in the form of free transportation and 7 11 gas cards.

The Federal civil indictment also references a case where they seem to be alleging that unnecessary dental work was done on baby teeth including root canals and capping five teeth for a total cost billed to taxpayers of $3498.00.

In the original story we asked a lot of questions, what was this man’s real nationality, was he Muslim, did he have any ties to any other Middle Eastern men other than the ones listed in the federal civil court case, why was he spending so much money gaining access to law enforcement? We even suggested that he might be a Lebanese Christian but wondered if he had any family still in Lebanon that might be subject to pressure from Muslim extremists. Well, we learned the answers to some of those questions this week after an Oklahoman reporter contacted us.

The reporter seems to be just now developing the story but we talked of several inconsistencies between the documentation and Mr. Jarjoura’s claims. He claims to be Christian, of Lebanese descent, although genealogy resources reported that the surname was Syrian. Perhaps it is but the family moved to Lebanon years ago, we don’t know. Mr. Jarjoura is allegedly denying the 1994 arrest and the accompanying expungement but the reporter had found a copy of one of the expungement orders online but couldn’t track down the actual court records and might not if they have been sealed. Our sources found the original info on the OSCN, Oklahoma State Courts Network but the info was removed shortly after they inquired about the case. The screen shot was captured and it seems to be valid and the disappearance of the info confirms that it was a loose end that embarrassed the court system. Mr. Jarjoura also denies that the federal government has him under civil indictment despite the public court records showing otherwise.

But it didn’t stop there, Mr. Jarjoura hired a law firm to send the Sooner Tea Party a threatening letter asking for the removal of our story, an apology, and for the removal of blog article that looked into our article and confirmed much of it and even added more information to the story. The author of the blog must have received a lawsuit threat as well as they have removed their story.

We did take another look at our original story and found one mistake that we own Mr. Jarjoura an apology for, we listed the federal document type correctly, it was a CV which is a Civil court case but we made a mistake later in the article and wrote that he was facing a criminal indictment. The confusion occurred based upon the statue used in the federal civil case where they relied upon the Oklahoma Medicaid False Claims Act, a so called Lincoln Law or Qui Tam action. The statute we researched was general Medicaid fraud, Section 56- 1006 in the Oklahoma Statutes where anything over $2,500 was a felony punishable by up to three years in jail.

§56-1006. Medicaid fraud - Penalties.
A. Any person found to have committed any violation of paragraphs 1 through 6 of subsection A of Section 1005 of this title shall be deemed guilty of Medicaid fraud.

B. 1. Any person committing Medicaid fraud where the aggregate amount of payments illegally claimed or received is Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) or more shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall pay a fine of not more than three times the amount of payments illegally claimed or received or Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) whichever is greater, or be imprisoned for not more than three (3) years, or both such fine and imprisonment.

We do apologize to Mr. Jarjoura for the mistake; he is indeed facing a federal civil indictment not a federal criminal indictment. We will also figure out how to modify the archived story and change the info from criminal to civil indictment although we might have to take the entire story down and replace it with a replacement story. Make no mistake about it though, we stand by our opinions in the story other than the one mistake and the questions that we asked as they were quite serious.

Mr. Jarjoura did threaten a libel suit against the Sooner Tea Party but that isn’t likely given that he is facing the federal civil trial where they are this very month submitting witness lists. This case is very likely going to trial. Suing an organization that reaches tens of thousands of Oklahoma voters every week along with tens of thousands each month with the Oklahoma-Guardian would be legal suicide. Plus legal libel is a tough case to prove as actual malice must be intended and public figures like Mr. Jarjoura have even less protection.

We have morphed into a political newspaper and all newspapers are hungry for content. His lawyer would face malpractice charges if he was foolish to advise a public fight with the Tea Party before a jury trial.

But if he did we would treat them no different from a crooked politician, blanket the areas where they live and work to tell all their neighbors, friends, and customers all the slimy details. Any federal defendant with any sense would realize that would be their worst nightmare.

And late in the week we heard secondhand that Sheriff Whetsel was going to restrict Mr. Jarjoura’a access to the sensitive information and security updates. If he does that I’d invite him and Mr. Jarjoura for lunch, maybe a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. Or maybe a pizza with Canadian Bacon, ham, and sausage. He certainly would have removed a major concern if access to this dangerous technology is closely monitored.

Here is the original article:
Sheriff John Whetsel might have opened up a major security breach in our state, local, and national security when he allowed a wealthy donor to play policeman
Here is what we know about Eli Tanios Jarjoura. He has a 1988-89 issued Social Security card number, is of Lebanese or Syrian descent, and comes from a Beirut Lebanon family. Up till the year 2007 he had a single dental practice and a modest $120,000 home. Suddenly his assets skyrocket into eight practices in purchased buildings, he purchases a million dollar home, and Jarjoura starts donating money hand over fist to local Law Enforcement Agencies.
There was a 2007 Harrah police department donation, a 2008 $25,000.00 donation to Sheriff Whetsel’s reserve department, and then multiple cars donated to Whetsel’s department. The car deals allegedly are part of a back room deal though the David Stanley dealership who is wanting the current 911 call center located adjacent to their car lot if the 36th street public safety complex ever manages to be built. David Stanley wants that property and they are greasing the skids in preparation by enabling Jarjoura’s multiple vehicle donations.
Despite only being a reserve deputy Jarjoura has immersed himself in law enforcement far beyond what a normal person would do. He even joined the International Chiefs of Police, one of the few if not the only reserve officer to do so. His information is highlighted in red type near the bottom of this document taken from the organization’s archived newsletter/magazine. Jarjoura has also orchestrated a bartering system/donation system for the benefit of reserve and regular deputies something that the IRS might find of interest.

International Chiefs of Police new members outlined in red type, November of 2009
The amount of donations is excessive even for a wealthy donor. In one instance Jarjoura donated four brand new vehicles, a Ford Mustang, a Chevy Camaro, a Dodge Charger, and a Dodge Challenger that were named after Jarjoura’s four daughters. A post found on a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) website showed that Whetsel may be driving one of the four donated vehicles along with a mention of two other donations for a brand new Mini Cooper and a brand new Hummer.
But most concerning is that one of the donated vehicles is unusually outfitted with serious high tech electronics and has appeared to be reserved for Jarjoura’s personal use. This article states that the vehicle has a ELSAG's LPR license plate scanner that is connected to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center
Allegedly the most advanced police car in Oklahoma is garaged at 22750 North May, the 1.1 million dollar home of Eli Tanios Jarjoura. Jarjoura bought the million dollar home at an Oklahoma County Sheriff auction in 2010 for 500,000.00. Jarjoura is also on the Sheriff Tactical Team, the SWAT style assault team fielded by the Oklahoma County Sheriff Department, as the “medical” officer. This is the same unit that has had two MP 5 sub machine guns go missing. These fully automatic weapons are who knows where by now.
Okay so the guy likes to play cops and robbers. What is all the fuss about? Well, Mr. Jarjoura turns out to have a criminal past and recently has been indicted on federal charges of defrauding Medicaid.
Jarjoura was indicted for medical fraud in January of 2010 after getting caught offering “inducements” for parents to bring in children eligible for the Sooner Care dental care program. The federal case number CV-00025-L in the Western District of Oklahoma covers eleven dentists or professional corporations that are either partners involved in Bright Smiles dental company or closely tied with them and the court case alleges $15,000,000.00 in Medicare fraud at seven locations of the Bright Smiles dental company.
In addition to offering 7-11 gas cards since approximately 2008, the Bright Smiles dental company offered free transportation, also in violation of both Sooner Care and Medicaid provider contracts. This would be fine for customers that were paying for their dental work out of their own pockets but it amounts to trolling for patients and defrauding the government when inducements are offered to those whose bills are paid by the taxpayers. The whole point is to make it that much easier for a poor patient to take advantage of government largess and to remove any skin in the game they might have.
The court records reflect that one young child named Ty Borden was taken to the Norman office of Bright Smiles where Sooner Care was billed $67.00 for cleaning and $283.00 for filling a cavity. The young child was then sent to the Edmond Bright Smiles office where Sooner Care was billed for $3,498.00 in dental care including two root canals, anesthesia by nitrous oxide and anesthesia by IV, and the capping of five baby teeth. That’s right, baby teeth… and rarely are root canals done on baby teeth for the reasons outlined in this link. Caps are done on occasion but there are alternatives that are cheaper. But you and I were paying the bills through Uncle Sam and the State of Oklahoma so what the heck.

29) 42 U.S.C. S. 1320a-7(b) makes it criminal to offer, pay, solicit, or receive an inducements or rewards for work done that is paid for by the federal health care program.
As the car is the second most technologically advanced police vehicle in the state, completely wired into the entire law enforcement information system, it can receive every confidential messages sent to LEO at the county, state, and even federal level including Homeland Security updates and warnings. The only other vehicle in the entire state that has more communication equipment is the sheriff department’s mobile command post.
But the guy is a reserve cop, right? So he is squeaky clean and all that, right? Well, not really….

Turns out Eli Tanios Jarjoura had a 1994 Grand Larceny case dismissed with costs that originated in what they call the grey area of Cleveland County and Oklahoma County. This is where Oklahoma City overlaps into Cleveland County so where criminal complaints are filed and sometimes where arrestees are taken to jail can sometimes be up in the air. Courthouse insiders claim that dropping a Grand Larceny case with costs paid is the usual outcome where someone makes restitution on a theft. But in an apparent grooming effort, Jarjoura had a law firm pursue an expungement of the 1994 Grand Larceny complaint and the arrest was scrubbed from the record in April of 2009. But the CLEET class that Jarjoura took started in March of 2009 so in the eyes of the law he still had a criminal record and shouldn’t have been allowed to attend a CLEET class.

We also know that Jarjoura pursued a 2004 pilot certification effort then did nothing with it. Normally someone that spends that kind of money on a pilot license will either purchase a private plane or enter into a sharing agreement with a few other amateur pilots but Jarjoura did nothing. I wonder if he spent most of his time and effort on learning to guide a plane and little on how to land one? Sound familiar? Or is this a quick escape plan, learn the basics of flying, steal a plane and head for the border if it gets sticky?

So I would ask Sheriff Whetsel what a guy with ties to the Middle East and possibly Syria is doing as a reserve deputy in his department. Why is a vehicle capable of monitoring every security alert in the law enforcement system doing sitting in his garage? Why is a vehicle capable of scanning thousands of license plates per hour sitting in his garage? Why is a man under federal criminal indictment still an Oklahoma County Sheriff Reserve deputy?

I could well imagine that any Middle Eastern men associated with Jarjoura would find full access to law enforcement warnings and access to the data bases very helpful in avoiding capture or planning acts of terrorism. I would imagine that having a vehicle capable of driving through a parking lot at a Tea Party function, a legislative function, or a CAIR function would be very handy to target individuals by indentifying who is attending and in doing counter intelligence work to protect the Muslim Brotherhood types from surveillance. Even if Jarjoura turned out to be a Lebanese Christian, his family is still susceptible to pressure or control from Beirut. There are no upsides to having restricted and confidential access to FBI data sitting in a persons garage.

In the end regardless of his religion or Middle Eastern connections Jarjoura is a security risk that this country, this state, and Oklahoma County can ill afford. Why not allow people to donate the military so they could be allowed to keep a fully armed F-16 at home as a plaything? Allowing a rich man to buy access to the secrets of our law enforcement agencies is nothing more than pay for play and an indication that money is the top priority of Sheriff John Whetsel.


  1. cracker9:49 AM

    Not being a major fan of Sheriff Whetsel, I hate to start up here, but the letter from the Oklahoma Tea Party was filled with fear, paranoia, racial and religious prejudice, and loads of stupid. "Is this man a Muslim?" That's none of your damned business. See the US constitution regarding freedom of religion. If they had written, "Is this man a Jew?", they would now be buried under lawsuits as well as charges of anti-semitism. The dentist is "of Lebanese or Syrian descent." Everyone in the US is of foreign descent, except for the Native Americans. Incidentally, there were people of Lebanese and Syrian descent living and doing business in Oklahoma before statehood; they've been here now for several generations.
    If someone wants to go after Sheriff Whetsel over mishandling of funds or wasting taxpayer money or dictatorial management, that's fine. Don't bring race, religion, or culture into the argument. Irrational fear and hatred of brown people shouldn't be part of Oklahoma politics. News flash: not everyone in the world is an Oklahoma-style fundamentalist Christian. Not even everyone in Oklahoma is.

  2. Anonymous2:50 PM

    In my opinion, most sheriff's departments and county govt are all in bed with each others where I come from. Sheriff here says, "I don't know the law; I'll have to talk with the DA." DA tells me he's the "attorney for the Sheriff's department". Now, how does anybody get represented when there is a problem?-- One has to have a high-paid lawyer or one that will work pro bono for those who can't pay. Thanks

  3. Anonymous6:12 PM

    Facts are facts. This rich guy has donated over $200,000 to Whetsel since 2009. Why would a rich guy donate over $200,000 to the Sheriff? He wants to be a cop, said it was his hobby, since when is Law Enforcement a hobby? He doesn't get paid to be a reserve deputy, so why would he pay $200,000 in donations to get a job that pays NOTHING? He was arrested in 1994 on a theft charge. Ok it was dismissed and got to pay court costs and restitution, happens everyday in courtrooms around the country. Except that now he has a fraud case in FEDERAL court, Google it, I did. He knew the rules to do business with the welfare system and he didn't care about the rules. He gave kickbacks to welfare patients so they would keep coming back so that he could bill welfare more money. Oh and you should check, the government doesn't have any money, that is our money that he was defrauding the system out of, yours and mine friendly taxpayer.

    1. Anonymous11:02 PM

      BINGO! We have a WINNER!