OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The chairman of a new board created to oversee the abstracting industry is accused in an FBI affidavit of making illegal contributions to Oklahoma Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan’s campaigns.

A witness told the FBI that Randy Dittmann reimbursed his employees who made contributions to McMahan’s 2002 and 2006 campaigns. McMahan had to rely heavily on Dittmann for his 2006 re-election campaign because the main money source for his 2002 campaign, Steve Phipps, was under grand jury investigation, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit.

The affidavit is part of FBI agent Gary Graff’s request in August for a warrant to search the McMahans’ Tecumseh home. McMahan and his wife, Lori, both pleaded not guilty Friday to federal charges of mail fraud, bribery and conspiracy.

Dittmann, 51, president of Buffalo Land Abstract Co. in Tulsa, was recently appointed by Gov. Brad Henry to the Oklahoma Abstractors Board, which legislators created amid reports of McMahan’s ties to Phipps.

Dittmann has not been charged. But the grand jury that indicted former state Sen. Gene Stipe and his former abstracting business partner, Steve Phipps of Kiowa, will be investigating political corruption in southeastern Oklahoma for at least another six months.

Dittmann was recommended by the Oklahoma Land Title Association and state Reps. Chris Benge, R-Tulsa, and Lucky Lamons, D-Tulsa, said Paul Sund, Henry’s spokesman.

Sund said Dittmann underwent and passed an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation background check before his appointment.

“The governor’s staff went a step further, asking each appointee if they had any involvement or relationship with Steve Phipps or Gene Stipe. Mr. Dittmann told our staff that his only involvement was the purchase of abstracts from Phipps-owned companies,” Sund said.

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