Chicken-Fried News: No saint 

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It is often said that the bigger they are, the harder they fall. And in Enid, there were few people bigger than Ernest Leroy Currier, the city’s former mayor, vice president of a community bank and the chamber of commerce’s former citizen of the year.

Now there’s another title Currier can officially add to his list of superlatives: the biggest fraud in Enid history.

As reported by Enid News & Eagle earlier this month, Currier recently pleaded guilty to 33 felonies, receiving a 13-and-a-half-year prison sentence followed by 31 years of probation for using the purloined information of at least nine individuals and several fictitious identities to acquire more than $6 million in loans over the course of several years.

This is clearly blatant wrongdoing. But for a moment, let’s consider the kind of cognitive dissonance it takes to get on stage and accept your citizen of the year plaque as you’re simultaneously defrauding the very same town. Did Currier sleep well that night? Did he ever consider not accepting the award?

The answer is probably not in that moment, though he voiced his public apologies at his sentencing hearing.

“I am guilty of these crimes levied against me today,” he said. “My actions were shocking and inexcusable. To stoop to this level reflects an absence of principle and integrity. I am guilty of violating the trust of my employers and coworkers. There is absolutely no excuse for this action.”

Ah yes, the heartfelt courtroom apology. It’s strange how so few criminals volunteer to express their guilt before any of their crimes get detected.

In all seriousness, no one but Currier can say with certainty how sorry he is for his actions. Hopefully he is sincere and will work to rectify the damages.

Even before the crimes were known, Currier was set to go down in Enid history. But now his name is destined to live in infamy.

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