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Bench warrant under advisement for principal chief candidate

A bench warrant is under advisement for principal chief candidate Margo Gray.

After missing an asset hearing on Jan. 9 in Tulsa County District Court, Gray has been ordered to appear March 6 or there will be a warrant for her arrest.

The asset hearing is due to Gray’s former company, Horizon Engineering Services Co., failure to pay a summary judgment for breach of contract in the amount of $58,639.98.

The Osage News became aware of Gray’s summary judgment after an anonymous letter was sent to the News’ offices on Jan. 27, post marked Jan. 25 from Oklahoma City. Inside was Gray’s case file from the Oklahoma State Courts Network.

The case, Terracon Company v. Horizon Engineering Services Co., is a breach of contract case where Horizon was charged for not paying two invoices from 2006 and 2011, for construction work done on a Super Wal-Mart in Cleveland and roadwork in Concho, Okla.

The case was filed by Terracon for civil relief in August of 2012. In May of 2013, the judge issued a summary judgment on Horizon in, “the sum of $58,639.98, together with the interest at the rate of 18% per annum from November 2, 2012, until paid, attorney’s fees in the amount of $606.58 and the costs of this action.”

Gray requested this story be held from publishing but the Osage News Editorial Board said Gray’s court case was public record and the story was valid voter information.

“It is important to state the obvious that this anomymous letter was sent with the sole intent to discredit my character,” Gray said in a prepared statement. “In the business world disputes arise and whether it be through economic changes or in doing business with unreliable clients that outcomes are not always the best. Small businesses doing work with such clients have some times been left holding the bag through no fault of their own.” 

Court documents

According to court documents, District Judge Linda Morrissey issued a garnishment summons on Horizon Engineering Services on June 14, 2013 for American Heritage Bank. On June 21, American Heritage Bank answered with “no account” for Horizon, according to court documents. Morrissey then ordered Gray to appear at an asset hearing on Oct. 3, 2013.

At Gray’s Oct. 3 asset hearing, Margaret Gray is named as the defendant, according to court documents, and appeared on her own behalf. According to court documents, she was recognized back on Jan. 9, 2014 but did not show.

Gray told the Osage News that she was not aware of the Jan. 9 court date and that she had dissolved her company Horizon Engineering Services. She said a woman by the name of Kara Pratt, an associate attorney for Tulsa-based law firm Barber & Bartz, could verify Gray was never mailed a court appearance notice. Pratt did not respond to Osage News inquiries.

The News verified the court documents with the Osage Nation Attorney General’s office and gave copies of the documents to the Osage Nation Election Office. The AG’s office said the case did not turn up in the candidate background checks because it was a civil case.

“Sometimes things are not always what they seem and this is the case here.  I understand that this is public record and for clarification I am not a named defendant. This matter involves a dispute between a subcontractor and a company that I formerly co-owned and is now legally desolved,” Gray said in a prepared statement. “This dispute is in the final stages of resolution and we are working for an amicable solution. For many years the company was highly successful and profitable, but businesses, like people, have a life cycle and given the economy I had to find the courage to move on in a new direction.

“As we move into the heart of campaign season, let us strive to treat each other fairly and avoid resorting to uninformed accusations and mean spirited tactics as anonymous letters, emails and so forth, but to focus on the issues of the Osage Nation.”

For more updates on this story and others, follow the Osage News online and on Facebook and Twitter.


Shannon Shaw Duty

Original Publish Date: 2014-02-06 00:00:00


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Shannon Shaw Dutyhttps://osagenews.org
Shannon Shaw Duty is the editor of the Osage News. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a master's degree in Legal Studies, Indigenous Peoples Law from the OU College of Law. She served on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) from 2013-2016 and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee from 2017-2020. She is a Chips Quinn Scholar, a former instructor for the Freedom Forum’s Native American Journalism Career Conference and the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute. She is a former reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican. She is a 2012 recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED). In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive the Elias Boudinot Free Press Award, NAJA’s highest honor. An Osage tribal member, she and her family are from the Grayhorse District. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and six children.

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