Stitt cabinet member plans to sue former attorney general

Mike Seals - June 2, 2021 10:07 pm

 

By SEAN MURPHY

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A member of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s cabinet said Wednesday he plans to sue former Attorney General Mike Hunter over a felony bribery charge that Hunter’s office filed against him, then later dropped.

Stitt’s Secretary of Digital Transformation and Administration David Ostrowe and his attorney, Matt Felty, allege Hunter abused his power by filing frivolous charges against Ostrowe to settle a political score.

“America’s legal system was not designed to allow powerful elected officials like the former AG to settle politically motivated scores against public servants like David,” Felty said. “We believe the political motivation against David was driven by things within the AG’s office that were completely ancillary to David’s role as secretary of digital transformation.”

Felty said he sent “evidence preservation” letters to Hunter and other state officials this week requiring the preservation of mobile phones, computer hard drives, tablets and computer servers in anticipation of litigation.

“The former attorney general’s problems are not over. They are just beginning,” Felty said.

Felty said the anticipated claims against Hunter include abuse of process, libel, slander and potentially a civil rights violation.

Hunter announced his resignation last week, citing “certain personal matters that are becoming public.” Although he didn’t elaborate on the personal matter, Hunter filed for divorce from his wife of nearly 40 years just days before his announcement.

Before he stepped down on Tuesday, Hunter dropped the charge against Ostrowe, stating in a court filing that his office faced a potential conflict of interest since Stitt would appoint Hunter’s successor and Ostrowe was a member of Stitt’s cabinet.

Hunter’s former spokesman, Alex Gerszewski, said the ex-attorney general declined to comment beyond the release of the court filing, but defended the multicounty grand jury process used to indict Ostrowe.

“This case was referred to our office by state officials. The process undertaken was identical to every other case brought before the grand jury,” Gerszewski said. “Witness testimony is sworn under oath and lying before the grand jury is a felony. The grand jurors heard testimony and made the decision to issue an indictment.”

 

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