WALTERS — An embattled Cotton County commissioner has been suspended and awaits a hearing following an Oklahoma Attorney General’s grand jury recommendation he be removed from office.
District 5 District Attorney Kyle Cabelka filed a petition Monday in Cotton County District Court of an application for removal of Cotton County District 1 Commissioner Micah “Mike” Woods for allegations of abuse in office, records indicate.
Woods was served with the paperwork Tuesday, according to court records. He was immediately suspended from office.
A hearing over the petition has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Dec. 5.
The attorney general’s grand jury met in Oklahoma City last week and over two days of testimony recommended Woods step down or be removed from office.
Woods is accused of misconduct in office and, due to being a public official not subject to impeachment, he should be removed from office, according to the grand jury’s recommendations.
According to the grand jury filing, Wood is accused of oppression in office, harassment, stalking and inappropriate and inaccurate statements about personnel that led to a hostile working environment. He also is accused by the grand jury of corruption in office and willful maladministration by using county employees and materials to build campaign signs for his personal use for reelection on Nov. 8, 2022.
With the Dec. 5 hearing, Woods may fail to show or admit guilty which would lead to his auctomatic removal from office. If he denies the charges, he will remain suspended until the date of a civil jury trial on the first day of the next trial docket, what the state statute stipulates, which is April 2024.
Woods, 62, of Walters, also is facing a felony count of embezzlement, which followed a 2022 investigation by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Woods was accused of using Cotton County District 1 employees to build campaign signs for him, working on county time without the approval of other Cotton County commissioners, according to the warrant affidavit.
The felony case remains set for trial in the April 2024 jury trial docket even if Woods steps down from office.
Woods was bound over for trial following a July 21 preliminary hearing. He remains free on $10,000 in that case.