By JAMES BEATY
With a federal grand jury investigating political corruption in Southeastern Oklahoma set to resume in Muskogee on Wednesday morning, the News-Capital has confirmed that former McAlester City Manager Randy Green has been booked into the Muskogee City-County Jail.
Contacted on Tuesday evening and asked if the jail had a Randy Green in custody, a jail employee said “We’re booking him right now.”
The employee said Green had been transported to the jail by U.S. marshals. Federal prisoners are also held at the city-county jail in Muskogee.
By checking booking records, the News-Capital confirmed that the Randy Green booked into the jail late Tuesday had the same date of birth as the former city manager — confirming they were the same person.
Green, 54, had been transported to the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkanna, Texas, for his conviction on five counts of embezzlement after a March 2006 trial at the Eastern District of Oklahoma U.S. Courthouse in Muskogee.
Following a pre-sentence investigation, U.S. District Judge Ronald White sentenced Green in August 2006 to a 51-month term in federal prison, followed by three years probation and nearly $500,000 in restitution.
Meanwhile, the grand jury investigating political corruption is set to resume at 9 a.m. at the federal courthouse.
Grand juries are conducted in secret, behind closed doors. However, some of the matters heard by the grand jury have been included in federal search warrants.
The warrants were used to search the offices of former District 7 state Sen. Gene Stipe, of McAlester, and his accountant, Greg Shores, of Kern Shores & Co., in March.
Allegations in the warrants connected Stipe and Steve Phipps, of the Kiowa area, to the federal probe. Neither have been indicted or charged in connection with the investigation.
The warrants contained information that a federal investigation has been under way regarding National Pet Products, a dog food plant on the north side of McAlester.
The warrants also linked former District 17 state Rep. Mike Mass, of Hartshorne, to the probe.
FBI affidavits allege that Stipe paid a kickback of $48,570.75 to Mass as part of an agreement for Mass to provide funding for National Pet Products.
The affidavit alleges that Stipe helped arrange funding for the pet food plant, which lists Phipps as its president.
During the summer of 2002, Stipe arranged for funding to start the National Pet Products project, the affidavit alleges.
“Stipe arranged for $419,000 of state funding to be provided by Representative Mike Mass through KEDDO, and used his influence either directly or indirectly to have $250,000 be provided by the city of McAlester and $100,000 by the McAlester Foundation,” the affidavit alleges. KEDDO, or the Kiamichi Economic Development District of Oklahoma, has offices in Wilburton.
At that time that the city agreed to provide the $250,000, Green held the post of McAlester city manager.
The FBI affidavit alleges that Stipe selected the location of the future pet food plant to be on Stipe’s property, which he would sell as part of the deal.
Mass pleaded guilty in April to a single count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. In pleading guilty, Mass acknowledged that on or about July 29, 2004, he caused a check for $250,000 to be sent from KEDDO to the Rural Development Foundation.
He has been allowed to remain free on $20,000 bond with the agreement that he will cooperate with investigators — and will testify truthfully before the grand jury if he is called.
Green’s sentencing last year followed a saga which became publicly known on Dec. 17, 2004, when the News-Capital broke the story about a probe under way at McAlester City Hall by the FBI and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
An investigation by the News-Capital revealed that Green had sold more than a half-million dollars in unused leave back to the city of McAlester over a five-year period.
Following the revelations, McAlester city councilors voted to fire Green in January 2005.
In November, 2005, a federal grand jury indicted Green on five counts in connection with the unused leave he sold back to the city.
In March, 2006, following 10 hours of deliberations, federal jurors convicted Green of misusing city money at a time when the city of McAlester received federal funds.
Contact James Beaty at email@example.com.
Former McAlester city manager returned on eve of grand jury resumption
By JAMES BEATY
- Local News
- Local Sports
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Pitt 8 All-Conference list released
With the Kiowa Cowboys and Cowgirls sweeping the Pitt 8 Conference, it should come as no surprise that Kiowa had seven players and coaches — the most from any school — selected for All-Conference honors in a list submitted Wednesday by Canadian athletic director Tommy Pinkley. Both Kiowa teams went undefeated in district play during the regular season, and the Cowgirls won the Pitt 8 Tournament.
- Cowboys fall at State
- Glencoe wins state championship over Kiowa
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- Lions end Buffs’ postseason
- Pitt 8 All-Conference list released
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- State news
Latta team holds off Haworth
Eleven months and three weeks or so ago, the Latta Panthers were battling Haworth in a Class 2A State championship game. Latta fans won’t soon forget handing out that 58-41 shellacking to win the gold ball.
Friday’s night’s rematch in a 2A Area Tournament title tilt inside Byng’s Bill Koller Fieldhouse was much closer.
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- Latta team holds off Haworth