A "culture of corruption” continues to taint the Kiamichi Technology Center School District despite indictments and lengthy investigations, a state grand jury said in a report issued Friday.
The grand jury noted it was the second multicounty grand jury to investigate criminal misuse of public property at the school district, which has 10 campuses and encompasses most of the southeastern quarter of the state. Walt Haskins, attorney for the Kiamichi school district, countered by issuing a news release Friday. He accused Attorney General Drew Edmondson's office of using the grand jury "for political rather than investigatory purposes.” Haskins alleged the attorney general's office led the grand jury to indict board members because the attorney general was "in league with powerful state legislators.” He claimed legislators were upset with board members because they refused to continue to allow them to use Kiamichi as a "source of political patronage jobs for friends and relatives.” "If the attorney general's office is truly interested in finding a ‘culture of corruption,' it need only look to its own relationship with those legislators who have stirred this pot,” Haskins wrote.
Allegations surfacing againTwo grand juries have alleged school district employees diverted public property to support political campaigns. They also alleged that people under investigation joined with others to "impede or block or punish witnesses giving evidence regarding the crimes being investigated.” "We are concerned that a culture of corruption remains in the Kiamichi School District,” the grand jury said in its report. The grand jury blamed the extraordinary size of the career technology district for contributing to the problem by creating a "great political force within that section of the state. Read the press release from the Kiamichi Technology...
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