A longtime Department of Human Services employee has been indicted for allegedly lying to the state grand jury 13 times, including about misuse of her state computer. Barbette Estelle Hull, 45, of Poteau will keep her data services job for now, a DHS spokesman said. A just-started administrative review could result in discipline. The multicounty grand jury is investigating allegations of wrongdoing in political campaigns at the Kiamichi Technology Center, which offers classes for career technology students in southeastern Oklahoma. Hull is married to Chad Hull, the center's public relations coordinator. The grand jury earlier indicted Chad Hull, 43, and others for allegedly using career tech equipment to make political material for Norm Ranger, who won election this year to the technology center's board.Comments
Accused of perjuryA prosecutor said Friday that Barbette Hull misused her DHS computer to prepare or assist in preparing campaign literature for Ranger and other board members. The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Joel-lyn McCormick, said the grand jury's judge gave Barbette Hull immunity from prosecution for her actions as long as she testified truthfully. Grand jurors alleged Barbette Hull lied 13 times in her testimony before them Aug. 7 and Sept. 25. Grand jurors indicted her Wednesday on 13 counts of perjury. The indictment was made public Friday. Her new attorney, Mack Martin, said she maintains she is innocent. The attorney also said he may claim as part of her defense that there were irregularities in grand jury proceedings. Barbette Hull was handcuffed in court Friday and led away by Oklahoma County sheriff's deputies. She was freed after posting $10,000 bail. She has worked for DHS for 25 years and makes $48,363 a year, the DHS spokesman said. The prosecutor said Barbette Hull has been reprimanded in the past for misusing her DHS computer for personal reasons and apologized then. "The investigation is ongoing,” the prosecutor said.
Barbette Estelle Hull