Stipe still getting attentionFebruary 28th, 2005
Will the ongoing persecution of Gene Stipe ever end?
The Federal Communications Commission has decided to reconsider a staff decision that allowed longtime Oklahoma state Sen. Gene Stipe to sell a group of radio stations, agency officials said.
The grand old patriarch from McAlester already sold his radio stations weeks ago.
A group known as Southeastern Oklahoma Radio, composed of Lerblance, Lee Anderson and Bob and Sheila Turnbow, of McAlester, bought KMCO, KNED and the KTMC AM and FM stations, FCC documents indicate.
The sale was for in excess of $2 million, Anderson said this morning.
“We actually took control at midnight Monday,” Anderson said.
That deal’s got to be on the up and up. Southeastern Oklahoma Radio’s leading partner happens to be State Senator Lerblance, who is no other than the guy who replaced Gene Stipe as senator.
“Without question, it was a surprise to us,” Lerblance said. “I’m just kind of dismayed that this would come out of left field in the last hour.”
Some folks would say this is the final straw for Stipe as wheeler dealer. Although…
Court records say he has a net worth of more than $26 million, according to an article last Sunday in The Daily Oklahoman. In 1968 he was acquitted on federal charges of tax evasion, and in 1981 he was acquitted in two other federal cases – one on charges of participating in a kickback scheme and a second of racketeering and wire fraud.
In the case in which he pleaded guilty, Mr. Stipe acknowledged that he had participated in a series of schemes to conceal more than $245,000 in contributions to Mr. Roberts. To persuade a federal judge to give him a minimal criminal sentence, he received letters of support from three former Oklahoma governors, former Senator David L. Boren, and several current and former state legislators.
Sounds like there still may be a chance for the Gene Stipe Center of Ethics at the Oklahoma University School of Law. And it would be only fitting to have state school bonds pay for it.