GULFPORT -- A former Oklahoma state senator sentenced for embezzling from the Stone County Economic Development Partnership did not admit guilt when he was sentenced Monday, his attorney said.
Jay Paul Gumm, former EDP executive director, was allowed to accept an Alford plea, which lets a defendant plead guilty while maintaining he's innocent, attorney Jim Davis said.
"He strongly maintains his innocence but was ready to get this behind him," Davis said.
Gumm, 52, now lives in Rockwall, Texas.
Never miss a local story.
He signed a court document that said he "admits it is in his best interest to enter his plea and that a reasonable jury could find him guilty."
Gumm said he showed "very poor management skills in overseeing numerous employees, especially Tina Gillespie."
He had been arrested in 2013 during an investigation of Gillespie, his administrative assistant. She is now in prison for embezzling nearly $415,000 from the EDP.
Gumm will serve no prison time unless he violates his probation. He received a suspended five-year prison term in lieu of two years' probation. He also was ordered to repay $8,900 to the EDP.
Davis said Gillespie had loaned Gumm a total of $8,900 in three increments in 2012 and he had repaid her.
Gumm had been accused of embezzling $24,000. Davis said evidence did not support all the allegations.
Gumm agreed Monday to pay the EDP $7,000 immediately and the remaining $1,900 within six months.
He had accepted the Stone County job in Wiggins after serving eight years in the Oklahoma Senate through 2012.
Gillespie, 45, is serving a 20-year prison term for embezzling from the EDP. She had testified Gumm had forced her to cash checks and give him money, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Burrell has said.
Gumm asked for non-adjudication, which could have wiped out his felony charge.
Circuit Judge Roger Clark sentenced him as a felon instead.
The case was investigated by the Stone County Sheriff's Office and the State Auditor's Office.