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Stitt Cabinet Secretary Sues Former AG Hunter Over Dropped Bribery Charge


A member of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s cabinet indicted on a felony bribery charge last year is suing former Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter over the case.

Hunter, who abruptly announced his resignation last week after reports he was having an affair and his wife had filed for divorce, dropped the case against Secretary of Digital Transformation and Administration David Ostrowe before leaving office, citing a potential conflict of interest in the prosecution. In a news conference Wednesday, Ostrowe claimed the December indictment was Hunter’s way of settling a personal score.

"The time is now to stand up against those who use their political and legal influence to benefit themselves and damage others for their own personal gain. We are all victims when unscrupulous people in power abuse that power," Ostrowe said.

The indictment said Ostrowe threatened to get funding for the Oklahoma Tax Commission cut unless they waived penalties and fees against a former state lawmaker’s business. Ostrowe denied any wrongdoing but has been on leave from his position since the indictment, the Associated Press reported.

Stitt issued a statement last week after the case was dropped.

"I am relieved to hear that the charges have been dropped against David Ostrowe and look forward to seeing the name and reputation of a good man and loyal public servant restored. From the beginning, I have maintained my faith in the fairness of Oklahoma’s justice system and its presumption of innocence, and I am thankful the truth has been revealed," Stitt said.

Ostrowe’s attorney, Matt Felty, said Wednesday they’re exploring claims including slander and a civil rights violation.

"David was and continues to be a public servant, driven by his desire to serve the good folks here in Oklahoma. On the other hand, the former attorney general is a politician who abused his power by bringing a frivolous indictment against David," Felty said.

The attorney general’s office said the grand jury process played out in Ostrowe's case like it would in any other.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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