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Former American Legion official faces new charges

By Traci Chapman

A disgraced Oklahoma American Legion official faces new charges, this time accused of felony lewd acts against a child, something investigators alleged he did in his Mustang home.

Prosecutors recently filed the charges against David Kellerman, 46, stating in court documents he in January “knowingly and intentionally” touched a seven-year-old girl while she was at his Mustang home. Mustang Police Department investigated the allegations, prosecutors said.

Kellerman posted bond shortly after his arrest. As part of his release pending trial, he may not have any “association with a child under the age of 18 years of age until further order of the court.”

The case is set for a June 23 preliminary hearing before Canadian County Special Judge Jack McCurdy.

If convicted, Kellerman could face between three and 20 years in prison.

David Kellerman

Kellerman was already known to law enforcement after a pair of 2014 cases, one of them involving allegations the Mustang man used his position as then American Legion State adjutant to steal rifles loaned to the organization by the U.S. Army, using the proceeds for personal gain. Roughly five months later he was again arrested and faced felony drug possession charges.

Both cases were derailed after another Mustang man’s secret life was unveiled. Steven Pancoast, 42, faced 26 counts, including perjury, impersonating a law enforcement officer and possessing a firearm after a felony conviction. Prosecutors said Pancoast, who worked for almost five years as an investigator and safety programs administrator for the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, lied about his background and qualifications.

It was in that capacity as a veteran’s affairs investigator that Pancoast’s actions overshadowed Kellerman’s embezzlement case. Prosecutors said Pancoast obtained a warrant while investigating Kellerman – the warrant yielded evidence that led to the former American Legion official’s arrest on drug charges in June 2014. Those charges would be dismissed in August.

Set for a March 7, 2016 trial, the embezzlement case against Kellerman was dismissed just days earlier, with prosecutors citing Pancoast as the reason for that move.

“This dismissal was based upon the state’s discovery that Steven Pancoast’s June 6, 2014 affidavit for search warrant contained false statements, namely that Steven Pancoast was a certified law enforcement officer,” prosecutors stated in the motion dismissing the drug case.

As for the former ODVA investigator, Pancoast was arrested March 20 by the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office and FBI agents. Those officials said an investigation found Pancoast lied about his background and certifications, including that he had been certified by the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training – CLEET. According to documents filed in the case, investigators at CLEET told agents Pancoast’s identification card was “fictitious” and the agency had no record of his certification.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents then found the Mustang man had two felony convictions in New Jersey and served three years in a state prison there for larceny and weapon possession, according to court documents.

Agents said as an ODVA investigator, Pancoast helped bring charges against individuals allegedly committing fraud against the veteran’s administration. He carried a firearm when he participated in several arrests and testified under oath in several court hearings, allegedly perjuring himself by identifying himself as a law enforcement officer.

Pancoast in August 2016 pleaded guilty to 26 counts, currently overseen by Central Oklahoma GPS, according to Department of Corrections records.



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