Archive for the ‘Brent Rinehart’ Category

Accused Former Lawmaker, County Commissioner Surrender

April 6, 2007

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma County Commissioner Brent Rinehart and political consultant Tim Pope surrendered to authorities Friday, one day after they were accused of felony violations of state campaign laws.

Rinehart and Pope arrived at the Oklahoma County Courthouse about 9:45 a.m. They were each with an attorney and Rinehart was also accompanied by a sheriff’s deputy. They were arraigned and were to be booked at the Oklahoma County Jail.

They face accusations of perjury, conspiracy and money laundering in connection with the funneling of illegal campaign contributions to Rinehart’s 2004 race for county commissioner, the state Attorney General’s office said.

UPDATE: Rhinehart unexpectedly shows up at county commissioners’ press conference (Video)

County Records Part Of Ongoing Investigation

October 11, 2006

By Brian Brus
The Journal Record

OKLAHOMA CITY – The attorney general’s office is awaiting word from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation before deciding to assign a special prosecutor in the investigation of Oklahoma County Commissioner Brent Rinehart, OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown said Tuesday.

The bureau earlier this month retrieved two years of records from County Clerk Carolynn Caudill’s office, officials confirmed. The OSBI took copies of the database of general fund vendor payments and highway cash fund vendor payments. Deputy Clerk Mark Mishoe described the records as “basically just a report on expenditure and purchase orders for districts 2 and 3.”

“We were asked by the district attorney’s office to look into possible official misconduct,” Brown said. “Not just official conduct, but possible violations of Oklahoma campaign (financing) law.”

The records covered a period from late 2004 to late 2006. Rinehart was elected at the end of 2004 and took office the following January to represent District 2, which encompasses parts of Oklahoma City, Bethany, Del City, Midwest City, Choctaw and Harrah.

Commissioner Stan Inman, who represents District 3, was defeated in this election season’s primaries. He was elected to the office in 2002.

When asked about the status of the investigation, Brown said, “We’ve held dozens of interviews, collected some records … and we’re continuing our investigation.”

Rinehart has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and said he has cooperated with authorities in the matter.

Brown said, “It could be a couple more weeks; it could be a couple more months. These types of investigations are so hard to wrap up.”

She also has said the bureau continues to investigate Rinehart’s 2004 campaign manager,former state legislator Tim Pope, on concerns involving campaign contribution caps and the Oklahoma Republican Assembly political action committee.

Pope also has denied wrongdoing.

Former Lawmaker Challenges Multicounty Grand Jury Process

August 22, 2006

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former state lawmaker whose political activities are the focus of a lawsuit filed by the attorney general’s office has filed a lawsuit of his own challenging the state’s multicounty grand jury process.

Former Rep. Tim Pope, now a political consultant, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on Aug. 16 that calls the multicounty grand jury an “instrument of politics” rather than a true investigative body.

Pope’s lawsuit accuses the grand jury, presiding judge Bryan Dixon, Attorney General Drew Edmondson and an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent investigating a 2004 Oklahoma County commissioner race of violating his constitutional rights with secrecy requirements not allowed by law.

Pope’s attorney, Stephen Jones of Enid, said state law requires a hearing before gag orders are issued, but that doesn’t happen when grand jury subpoenas are issued.

“That’s blatantly unconstitutional,” he said.

Edmondson dismissed Jones’ claims, noting similar issues have been raised before and rejected by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Pope, chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Assembly, faces a February trial in federal court in Oklahoma City on accusations he

violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in January when he paid for 20,000 prerecorded telephone calls regarding Oklahoma County Commissioner Jim Roth.

Pope, who could be fined as much as $500 for each call for a total of $10 million, has maintained he did nothing wrong.

Pope thinks the complaint and an ongoing OSBI investigation of Oklahoma County Commissioner Brent Rinehart’s 2004 campaign are politically motivated, according to his lawsuit, because Roth and Edmondson are facing re-election fights.

Pope is a consultant for Roth’s opponent, David Mehlhaff, and campaign manager for James Dunn, a Republican running against Edmondson.

Rinehart pushes project which aides developer

August 7, 2006

KTOK reports Oklahoma County commissioner Brent Rinehart denies the reason he is pushing a road and bridge improvement project on SE 89th street is to help Del City developer Ray Pelfrey who is building a new home next to the road and once held the mortgage on Rinehart’s home.

“That didn’t even enter into my calculation as to whether I’m gonna open up this road and put in this bridge as to where Ray Pelfrey lived,” answered Rinehart when asked by KTOK news about the decision. “Now I was aware of where he lived but I didn’t make the connection. So that’s news to me I guess. I don’t know what to tell you.”

When first asked about it after this week’s county commission meeting, where he had pushed to include the project on a five year plan which previously had not listed it, Rinehart responded, “That’s the first I’ve heard of that. Now that you bring it up, I do know, that’s right. He owns a house at 89th and Choctaw.”

More Trouble for Rinehart

According to this AP story, Rinehart is the focus of a state investigation into alleged campaign finance law infractions.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown says county Commissioner Brent Rinehart is under investigation on suspicion of violating campaign finance laws. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is also investigating Rinehart’s 2004 campaign manager, former state Representative Tim Pope.

Pope’s political action committee, the Oklahoma Republican Assembly,(OKRA) had accepted contributions from people who already had given their legal limits to Rinehart.