Sunday, April 16, 2017

Leo Winters: State Treasurer And Banking Secrets

  In 1974 A federal grand jury indicted Winters, for, among other things, of using his position to extort campaign money from banks. Winters was acquitted of four counts during a well publicized trial, and other counts later were dropped. A few weeks after that, he was re-elected. 

  Winters served five terms and was trying for a sixth when his 1986 campaign was doomed by allegations that a Tulsa bank may have written off millions in loans to him.

  In 1986, many Oklahoma banks were on the brink of default from a crash in the oil markets, worldwide. Yet State Treasure Winters, decided to deposit a massive amount of state funds into a non-interest bearing account in Liberty Bank (now known as Banc One).
The Oklahoman reported:

Former Rep. Joe Manning of Cushing led the three-man field in the Republican primary and Rep. Bob Brown of Claremore finished second.

Manning, 39, was a member of the House of Representatives from 1974 to 1982 and now is business manager of the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma. In that job, Manning says, he invests and manages the foundation's assets.

Brown, 49, became the first Republican elected to the House from District 9 in Rogers County, in 1984. He is financial vice president and treasurer of Keck Construction Inc., a Tulsa-based earth-moving and paving company.

With Winters still in the race at the time, Brown campaigned in the primary on a platform that "it's time to remove the secrecy surrounding this important office."

Brown said he had been turned down when he tried to look at records in Winters' office this spring. He said the records on where state funds were deposited were opened to him after he and another Republican legislator threatened to file a lawsuit against Winters.

Those records showed Winters had $130 million in state funds on deposit at Liberty National Bank in Oklahoma City in a non-interest bearing account, Brown said.

"Oklahomans can no longer afford for their hard-earned tax dollars to sit idle in non-interest bearing accounts," Brown said. 

  The state treasurer had about $108 million in state funds on deposit with the Tulsa bank in the mid-1970s at a time that he and his associates had about $18 million in loans from the same bank.

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