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Linda Evans

Linda Evans

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Share PrintShare OKLAHOMA CITY — T.

Boone Pickens said Wednesday he should have worked with Holdenville city officials when he had a cement slab with his signature removed from a driveway at what used to be his grandmother's home.The 81-year-old billionaire energy magnate issued a statement on his Web site saying he stopped by the house during a visit to his hometown last month to examine improvements to a family cemetery plot.

Pickens said he was "disappointed at the state of disrepair," including "broken windows, overgrown yard and a deteriorating condition.""I was sad, and felt a desire to protect what cherished memories I could," he said.Pickens said he authorized a crew to remove the slab in which he had scratched his name as a youngster and immediately had the hole filled and repaired."I knew it was city property and, in hindsight, regret that I did not work with the appropriate city officials to seek their permission," he said in the statement."If it helps, I'm more than willing to return to Holdenville and etch my name in new cement, if they deem it appropriate.

Or I'm more than willing to leave it all alone and move on."Holdenville Mayor Jack Barrett did not immediately return a phone message left Wednesday, but told The Oklahoman last week that if the slab was in a part of the driveway where the city had an easement, "I don't believe we have any problem with it."Holdenville, a town of about 4,700 people, is 75 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.The house's current owner, David McCart, said bought the two-story, 17-room structure about 19 years ago, partly because of Pickens' signature.

McCart has said he went to the property to mow the grass on June 22 and noticed the 3-by-5-foot slab was missing from the driveway.McCart filed a theft and vandalism report with local police the next day and reiterated Wednesday that he wants to pursue criminal charges against Pickens.

Although the missing cement was replaced, McCart said the removal left cracks and damaged his driveway.He said the house had "major damage" that he and his wife spent 12 years repairing "to preserve some of Holdenville's history and its legacy.

We have repaired everything from the foundation to the roof."Now Mr.

Pickens has chosen to take a piece of history away from the town and historical value of the home."Pickens' wife, Madeleine Pickens, bought his boyhood home and moved it to their ranch in the Texas Panhandle, but the couple has never tried to buy Pickens' grandmother's former house, said Pickens' spokesman, Jay Rosser."That house has unfortunately deteriorated to such a severe degree that discussions regarding the potential purchase of it don't make sense," Rosser said.McCart said the house is "structurally sound" but "we have had ongoing problems with vandalism which has been reported to police with no results."Holdenville Police Chief Gary Young did not immediately return a phone message left at his office Wednesday afternoon.McCart said he and his wife planned to refinish the home again when their parents' health improved so "our investment could be better secured.

I don't feel a need to defend myself against his actions, because what he had done is wrong.

This would not have mattered if it was an empty lot, he still had no right to take property that did not belong to him."Linda Evans, an assistant district attorney in Hughes County, did not immediately return a phone message.

The district attorney would decide if charges were warranted in the case.
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