The Carter County Sheriff's Office has been rocked by a sex scandal after an employee accused Sheriff Milton Anthony of bribing her into a sexual relationship.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the woman, identified as Kelli Denney, 26, had known Anthony her whole life and was close to him, even calling him "Uncle Milton." She told investigators that she had confided in him about her family and financial situation over the course of there relationship.
When her husband, a Wynnewood police officer, applied for job as a Carter County sheriff's deputy, she believed that his employment with the sheriff's office would improve their financial status.
The woman told the investigator that soon after her husband applied for the job, the sheriff became flirtatious with her, first joking that the two should get married, and then saying that they should have a honeymoon first. Denney says she laughed off his "jokes," until he later sent her a text message saying, "You help me, I'll help you."
The woman interpreted the message to mean that if she would have sex with Anthony, he would hire her husband.
The two began a sexual relationship in July 2015; her husband was hired as a Carter County Sheriff's Deputy on July 30.
Denney told investigators that the sexual relationship continued for several months, because every time she tried to end the relationship, Anthony would threaten to manipulate her work schedule to force her to work weekends and holidays or to fire her husband.
On April 18, following their final sexual encounter on April 15, Denney began saving text messages the sheriff allegedly sent her.
In the probable cause affidavit, an OSBI investigator says he observed messages including one which read:
U act like it's all me, you first agreed to everything to get [Denney's husband] hired, I did that to better your livelihood to, then u backed out on that, I continued to give u wat you wanted I made everything revolve around you, you backed out everytime. It's not all me, you benefited hell of a lot more than I have. But the balls in your court what do you want to do. For the final time.
In a recorded conversation purportedly between Denney and Anthony, the sheriff told her, "I said you scratch my back and I scratch yours. That doesn't mean down the road you just stop scratching . . . you stop doing stuff, I stop doing stuff."
Anthony was arrested and booked into the Carter County jail and later released on $20,000. Anthony was arrested on a bribery complaint under 21 O.S. § 382 - Officers Receiving Bribes. If charged and ultimately convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Furthermore, he will be forever disqualified from holding public office in Oklahoma.
Image credit: Carter County Sheriff's Office