In an Oklahoma federal court on Thursday, two-term State Senator Rick Brinkley admitted to stealing $1.8 million and filing a false tax return from the nonprofit agency where he worked.
The 54 year old senator from Owasso who negotiated a plea agreement with the federal government and admitted to all of the charges against him faces up to 23 years in prison and $500,000 in fines when he is sentenced on November 20. Brinkley’s Senate resignation was expected on December 31, but instead it was entered days before Thursday’s hearing.
The president and CEO of the Tulsa Better Business Bureau from 1999 to 2011 Brinkley was fired from the agency in April after being suspected of misappropriating funds. The subsequent lawsuit filed earlier this year alleges the money was used to “support a hidden gambling habit,” and pay bills among other allegations.
One year shy of the six year retirement requirement, Brinkley who held positions on the Senate Pensions Committee and Senate Finance Committee, will not be eligible for government pension, according to the state retirement agency. Possible state law violations will continue to be investigated.