State Education Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, political powerbroker Fount Holland and the head of the Oklahoma Education Association along with two other people were charged four counts Thursday with violating state campaign laws related to Hofmeister’s 2014 campaign, records show.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater filed the charges late Thursday against the five, alleging they took part in a conspiracy to funnel corporate money through education lobbying groups to a dark money group that was supposed to remain independent from Hofmeister. However numerous texts and emails to and from Hofmeister and the other defendants included in an affidavit for the charges, obtained by The Frontier, indicate that did not occur.
- Hofmeister, 52, who defeated then-State Superintendent Janet Barresi in 2014.
- Holland is a political advisor and founder of AH Strategies and claims on his website to have represented more than 100 elected officials in Oklahoma today.
- Stephanie Milligan, 37, a political advisor to Hofmeister and officer of the Alexander Companies, formed by Chad Alexander, a former lobbyist who also worked with Holland.
- Lela Odom, 68, former executive director of the Oklahoma Education Association, a group that lobbies for salary and benefits for education employees, as well as public education funding.
- Steven Crawford, 67, former executive director for the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, a not-for-profit association for Oklahoma school administrators.
The charges would be felonies that carry up to 10 years in jail if prosecutors are able to prove the five conspired to violate laws setting limits on state campaign contributions.
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