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Sooner Tea Party co-founder wins in court

Oklahoma County prosecutors withdrew “suggestion” that he had violated grand jury judge's secrecy order.
by Nolan Clay Published: May 1, 2013

Sooner Tea Party co-founder Al Gerhart scored a win in court Tuesday when prosecutors dropped an accusation against him that he violated a grand jury secrecy order.

Gerhart, 54, of Oklahoma City, still faces a blackmail charge.

Gerhart told The Oklahoman on April 15 that he appeared before the state's 13th multicounty grand jury during its investigation of a 2006 victory party for Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater.

Gerhart claims disclosures by the Sooner Tea Party prompted the investigation of the victory party. He claims Prater charged him with blackmail as payback.

Assistant Attorney General George Burnett on April 23 asked the grand jury's judge to consider finding Gerhart in indirect contempt of court. The prosecutor alleged then that Gerhart violated the judge's order not to disclose grand jury testimony.

Gerhart contended the judge's order no longer applied to him because the 13th grand jury had finished its work.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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