This lawmaker gets an “F” from the Better Business Bureau..

rick brinkley

One easy way to tell if a business is legit or not is to check its website. If you see a Better Business Bureau logo prominently displayed front and center, be careful. In today’s online world, a reputable business doesn’t need the backing or endorsement of the BBB. They have Yelp! for that. It’s the ones who do need that BBB seal of approval that you should watch out for.

I bring this up because of the guy pictured above. His name is Rick Brinkley. He’s a state senator from Owasso and the former CEO of the Eastern Oklahoma Better Business Bureau. I guess you can say Rick is your typical Oklahoma politician. He loves guns, worships Jesus and is being investigated by the OSBI on allegations he embezzled funds from his employer.

Via NewsOK.com:

A powerful state senator has come under investigation because of accusations he embezzled funds while he was a top official at the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Oklahoma.

Sen. Rick Brinkley, R-Owasso, has hired an attorney and is denying wrongdoing. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has been looking into the accusations since January…

Brinkley, 53, repaid the Better Business Bureau in Tulsa $49,693.94 on Jan. 7, from campaign funds, according to his latest campaign contributions and expenditures report.

His attorney said that was a mistake and that he meant to use a personal check to pay the Better Business Bureau. Brinkley in April reimbursed his campaign because of the error. The attorney did not give an explanation for why Brinkley wrote the check in January.

Brinkley was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and serves as chairman of the Senate Pensions Committee and vice chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Yeah, nothing to see here. The vice-chairman of the Oklahoma Senate Finance Committee, the group that oversees our state budget and all that fun stuff, accidentally issued a $49,000 check from the wrong bank account. That happens all the time! Who doesn’t get their bank accounts confused when writing a check for $49,000?

Brinkley tried to explain his mistake to Barbara Hoberock of The Tulsa World:

“While writing a personal check, I inadvertently picked up the wrong sheet of checks,” Brinkley said in an email in response to an inquiry about the matter. “My personal and campaign checks are identical in color and pattern. After discovering the error, I transferred the full amount from my personal account into the campaign account.

“I notified Lee Slater of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission and asked for the proper way to report the check. He provided a couple of options. I chose to use the most transparent means possible to report what occurred.”

Unless you’re a big fan of Mickey Mouse or scenic mountain landscapes, why would you order identical, matching checks for multiple bank accounts? That seems like a dumb thing to do. Also, what the fuck are you doing with $50,000 in a checking account? Wouldn’t a smart finance guy / business executive like Brinkley put some of the money into a savings account? I’m not an investigator with the Better Business Bureau or anything, but that seems fishy.

But let’s not rush to judgement. Brinkley was very transparent and reported the error. Since he’s being so helpful and is full of excuses, I’m sure he’ll also explain why he was writing a $49,000 check to his employer in the first place…

Brinkley did not respond to a question about why he was writing a $49,693.94 check to the Better Business Bureau.

Come one, Brinkley. I expect better than that. He should have said he got mixed up and “inadvertently” used Better Business Bureau checks to fund personal expenses and gambling debts, because you know, the checks had the same color and pattern and everything.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, happens to this guy. I’ll check his website periodically to see if a Better Business Bureau logo suddenly appears. If it does, we’ll know he’s guilty.