Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

This Zeke Campfield story is getting stranger and stranger…

zeke campfield camera

Pic via @CMPDon

Earlier today, we published a report about Oklahoman reporter Zeke Campfield. He was arrested and accused of snapping upskirt photos at Sunday’s commencement ceremonies for Moore high school students. The victims ranged in age from 13 – 21. We contacted The Oklahoman about the charges and received the following statement:

We are aware of the arrest and have taken initial steps to understand and address the situation internally.  Zeke Campfield has been a valuable, trusted member of our news staff for more than a year, so we are very surprised by the allegations in the police report.  We will continue to monitor the situation, but will allow the authorities and the court system to do their job before finalizing our response.

Kelly Dyer Fry
Editor of The Oklahoman

Yeah, the people at the Oklahoman are “very surprised by the accusations.” That claim seems to contradict some things we’ve learned through the Ogle Mole Network.

According to sources, this isn’t the first time Campfield’s odd behavior has been brought to the attention of Oklahoman management. Sometime in 2012, the Oklahoman received a complaint regarding the way Campfield covered an event at the Oklahoma fairgrounds. Allegedly, he was behaving in the same manner as he did on Sunday; bumping into people, snapping pics, acting like Mr. Creepy, etc.

“It happened at the fairgrounds during some FFA event,” claims a Mole with knowledge about the incident. “At the time, we didn’t think he’d really do that. We were more appalled that the editors confronted him about it in the open newsroom at his desk, so everyone knew about it.”

Wait. Two Oklahoman editors spoke to Zeke about the incident in the open air of the newsroom?

“Yes, we all thought it was strange.”

I replied back to the Oklahoman to see if they had a response to these claims. Scott Briggs, Vice President of Administration, replied “As I stated before, you have our official statement, and we don’t have any additional comment to make at this point.”

Since that’s the stance they’re taking, I didn’t ask them about rumors that Zeke also sexually harassed a female Oklahoman interns. According to a Mole, the claims were serious enough that former Oklahoman editor Joe Hight allegedly had a discussion with Zeke regarding the allegations.

But remember, the folks at The Oklahoman were surprised by the reports.

Perhaps they wouldn’t have been if they would have dug a little deeper into Campfield’s past. If they did, I bet they would have taken claims about his behavior a little more serious.

In 2003, Campfield received a deferred sentence on felony burglary charges in Montana. According to this Chicken Fried News-style article in the Missoula Independent, he broke into a house and stole a pair of panties.

Wait. What???

When did interns become so dangerous? So glamorous? So scandalous? An intern used to be a pimply-faced peon whose sole purpose was to shuffle from work to Starbucks to Dunkin’ Donuts and back. Now they fellate presidents, vanish after torrid love affairs with congressmen and steal Pink Panther thong underwear.

Nathaniel Campfield may have the sad distinction of becoming the Missoulian’s first noteworthy (and possibly dangerous) intern. Last week, Campfield was charged in Missoula County Justice Court with felony burglary and misdemeanor theft (of the aforementioned Pink Panther thong underwear—exhibit P if you will).

According to the court record: Coming home, two women spied Campfield in the doorway of their house. When they confronted him, he fled. The women called 911 and the police picked up Campfield two blocks away. Campfield told the police that he thought the house belonged to a friend, a last-nameless “Megan,” whom he’d met at a bar in 1999, and that he was just going in, late at night, to see if she still lived there.

After a police search of Campfield turned up the Pink Panther thong underwear, the Indy has to wonder how well Campfield and this “Megan” know each other. Is she one of those long-lost (and mythical) Niagara Falls flings?

Flying in the face of that whole wacky notion that one is innocent until proven guilty, Campfield’s internship has been put on hold until the matter is resolved.

 

Whoever conducts background checks for The Oklahoman may want to start polishing up their resume.

Anyway, I know people are innocent until proven guilty, but I’m kind of worried this may be a tip of the iceberg type thing. I hope I’m wrong, but based on some other rumors I’ve heard, it just has the feel to it.

Couple of other thoughts:

• When’s the Oklahoman going to report on this story? Any and every time an Okie is charged with an embarrassing or sexually deviant crime they always feature it on the front of NewsOK.com. I should know this because I generally using them as source material. Maybe they’re worried about liability or something.

• I’m not making a lot of jokes at Zeke’s expense, because at least for me, the whole thing is sad. I got to know Zeke a bit over the past six months. He introduced himself at one of our trivia nights and we ran into each other on the escalator at a Thunder playoff game. I wouldn’t say we were friends or anything, but he was an OPUBCO employee that I actually respected. He’s a bright guy, talented writer and his reporting on the Governor’s health care decisions was top-notch. It sucks that little demons appear to have got the best of him. I really hope he gets some professional help.

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Comments

  1. Perhaps the Oklahoman’s next “daily prayer” can be a prayer for their sex predator employees.

    • Perhaps your next lesson should be to review the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to understand that allegations are just that. Allegations.

    • And I disagree; It isn’t “good detective work,” as this blogger is taking information from “Moles” and “sources” rather than trying to actually talk with Mr. Campfield. Zeke is adamant that this recent arrest is not what it seems and expects it to be resolved soon. The previous arrests and obtaining a police report takes time and effort, yes, but it’s interesting that none of the dozen or so people who worked with him for many years before he went to the Oklahoman ever even caught a whiff of sexual deviance, none were sexually harassed and many certainly wouldn’t label him as a sexual predator. I know people may have skeletons in their closet, but Campfield always put his job and professionalism above all else.

      • You can believe what you want, live in that river in Egypt or whatever, but one reason that this site is so popular and well-read is the credibility of the Ogle Mole Network.

        Also, if you read my original post, I did reach out to Zeke. He never replied back to me.

        • If you’re so credible, then cite your sources. Oh, and maybe print your actual name on your stories.
          As far as being in “defense mode,” absolutely I am. I will never go as far to say this absolutely didn’t happen…there are a lot of things about the account of events that don’t make sense. But I knew this person for quite some time and have a very hard time believing the accusation at face value. Everyone is entitled to a defense of character instead of believing something a blogger writes. If you had read my original post, you would see I stated many people have skeletons in their closets others may not know about. I’m in no way saying this could NOT be true; just that citing “moles” and unnamed sources is a move Star or The National Inquirer and should not be considered “detective work.”

          • Uhm, the AP, New York Times,* pretty much every “traditional” news organization, sites anonymous sources, but if we do it then we are not credible?

            I do print my name on my stories. It is Patrick.

            Other than that, our record speaks for itself. Believe what you want.

            * That’s the last time I’ll compare what we do to real journalism outlets.

            • Just because others do it doesn’t make it a legitimate practice and does hurt their credibility. And my point is a single police report or a copied and pasted account from another news source do ONLY that… speak for themselves. It doesn’t reflect the entire reality of the situations 100 percent of the time. Also, if you want to toot your horn of credibility of your “moles,” perhaps you should let their reports or documents truly speak for itself and eliminate the editorial commentary that this person is a creep or a predator. Those traditional sources also have reporters’ first and last names attached to them so that in the event they find themselves in an orange jumpsuit other bloggers can call them “Mr. Creepy” also. You take great pride in criticizing other news outlets for what they do or don’t publish, yet feel your “well-read” and credible site, which is nothing more than a glorified group of ANON internet warriors, shouldn’t be subjected to any scrutiny. But at least you did recognize you aren’t a “real” journalism outlet.

          • 1. He does put his real name one the site.
            2. Not citing sources that want to remain nameless is a normal and common journalism practice. Perhaps you have heard of “Deep Throat” and the Washington Post? That won a Pulitzer.
            3. This is a local social blog not the aforementioned Washington Post or NY Times.

            • “Patrick” okay. He looks like an old South Park character and has an email address. If I wanted to look up this dude and call him for a comment… how exactly would I do that? If I sent an email and didn’t get a response, how would I know to stop him on the street and ask if I saw him? That’s call hiding on the internet. Others may consider your “mole network” credible, but I have a very hard time doing so when the editor for this blog doesn’t have the bravery to fully identify himself.

          • “It is irresponsible to report on this story without reaching out to Zeke Campfield!”

            “Actually, I did do that”

            “A whole bunch of words not addressing that and attempting to change the subject.”

            • MALS-you have valid points and appear passionate about this. Loyalty and standing up for a person is admirable………..BUT you are coming accross a lot like those people that still say OJ was framed.

          • He has put his whole name on here before and hosts several weekly events where you could meet him if you are really that interested. Reading one article and blasting the entire concept of a social blog? That’s called trolling. Not only that but the “offended party” (not you) is specifically noted to have met him before. So he must be the worlds worst hide and go seek player.

          • Zeke, you’re just digging a bigger hole for yourself.
            If you had an ounce of journalistic credibility, you’d know people quote “anonymous” sources to protect “anonymous” sources. Sadly, there are journalists who’ve lost their jobs protecting “anonymous” sources, both in print and television in Oklahoma City.
            By the way, if the shoe fits….

            • If the shoe fits, you break into a woman’s house and steal it for use in acts of self-abuse.

          • I’m just popcorn following this conversation here but, cite his sources, really?

            The whole idea of anonymous sources is that they are anonymous because they want to remain anonymous, who is this guy to expose his sources to the public if his sources do not want to be exposed?

        • I take issue that dude was/is a good reporter. His reporting was filled with inaccuracies and mistakes to the point that I emailed both him and his editor twice to complain. However, he may be a good photographer.

  2. Was the thing in MT not considered a sex crime? If it was wouldn’t he have to register as a sex offender?

      • Since it involves the theft of a pair of panties. How can you just dismiss that? Sounds like your in defense mode rather than reality.

        • Not dismissing the strangeness of it. Just saying that the law says theft isn’t a sex crime. If that were the case, a person stealing a blow-up doll from a sex shop would be considered a sex offender.

          • And from what I understand, it wasn’t JUST a pair of underwear that was taken in an attempt to recover property (illegally, yes). That just seemed to be the most interesting piece of evidence.

      • Sounds like an Oklahoman employee trying to defend her co-worker. If this were a state or city employee, DOK would have their name, title, and salary on the front page.

        • Totally don’t work for DOK. Never have. But nobody is asking why none of the other major news networks picked up the story at the time of the arrest. Perhaps the paper didn’t publish the story because there are other facts not included in the police report… gasp, like that would ever happen. Most agencies don’t throw their employees under the bus, but when it was presented to them, they gave the author a statement, which is more than many companies will do when an employee is in trouble.

          • This isn’t the first time an OPUBCO employee has gotten in trouble, but if you go through the archives, you won’t find reports of anything that’s happened. They try to cover things up. There are reasons that there are “moles” reporting to this website and to the TV/radio stations. If it weren’t for the “moles,” the truth would never come out.

            • Maybe true, but I know of at least one OPUBCO sales manager who was arrested for a DUI hit and run last year. Mugshot and story were in the A section of the Sunday paper.

  3. there are older pervs working at that place! If they start throwing rocks the glass walls will fall on them

  4. What I find unbelievable is that he says he left the SD card at home, yet he was still shooting pictures at the event (even if not the questionable ones). As a news photog of some year’s experience, I just don’t believe that. Most digital cameras, especially the higher-end ones he likely uses, do everything but send up flares to alert the photog that there is no SD card in the camera.

    Secondly, if I arrived at event and found I didn’t have an SD card, I’d have gotten one immediately. Just about everybody and their kid brother sells them these days. Might not be the best card on the market, but it would suffice for the evening. Heck, I carry a half-dozen cards with me at all times. It’s like back in the B&W days, you always made sure you had enough rolls for any contingency.

    I’m not prejudging the guy, but I just don’t buy that part of his story. He’s supposed to be a pro shooter, this is a klutz thing.

  5. “When did interns become so dangerous? So glamorous? So scandalous?”

    1995. Ask Bill Clinton.

    • That was inferred. Read the rest of the opening paragraph you are referring to and look up the word “fellate.”

  6. I want to say that I have worked with Campfield for a year. He creeped me out from the moment I first met him. I never knew what exactly I was sensing, but I sensed something. I’ve avoided him every chance I can because of his creepiness.

    Anyone outside the company doesn’t know what has been going on inside it. Don’t assume because none of his coworkers have went on the record with their names that we haven’t gotten a “whiff of sexual deviance” off him. There may be reports of harassment and past issues that you don’t know about. Of course, OPUBCO isn’t going to admit to anything right now….

    • I had a co-worker like that back in the 90’s. Totally creepy. And hey, he was a freelance photographer for our magazine. Turns out, everyone’s creepy feelings about him were justified when he was arrested for murdering one of our models, Linda Sobek.

  7. @Karen: small point, but nothing in the reports claim he is a “pro shooter” but sounds more like a reporter who carries a camera.

    • @Victor Okay, you may have a point there. But as far as I’m concerned, somebody shooting for a newspaper (even the Oklahoman) should be a damn good photographer. Even back in university my photos were regularly moved on the AP Wire.

      But I stand by my other points. I checked the little digital point & shoot that I paid less than $50 for, and even it flashes a warning in the display when the SD card is missing. And if he could place the camera in a camera bag w/ lens up and still take a shot, then it was sophisticated enough to have a wireless remote. (Yes, I realize that is still unproven.) I would venture to say that it was almost impossible for him to continue shooting and not realize there was no SD card in the camera.

  8. If I was one of the victims, I’d be filing a civil lawsuit soon against The Oklahoman…. since the editors did know about the previous accusations and didn’t fire him. If he’d been fired before, this wouldn’t have happened.

  9. This guy is sick, I’m the one that pressed charges against him at the graduation. I’m so embarrassed and I feel disgusted that anyone would take pictures up my dress. Hes disgusting and I don’t even want him in our society…

    • He has problems. I’m sorry this happened to you, but please don’t talk about Zeke like that. He’s a good guy. He’s just been very emotionally unstable since he ended a long term relationship. Don’t be so quick to wish that on someone.

  10. There is a case in Canada where a person responsible for an accidental fatality ate the memory card, police figured it out and waited for it to pass to get the evidence.

  11. Curious story. I’m surprised that someone who led an open records fight against the governor would actually consent to a search of his person and belongings and actually talk to police when confronted. These are basic rights.

    I’ve always held the position that a person is innocent until proven guilty. This is the burden the state carries. I do not defend this reporter, but I also do not defend the people that would prematurely decide or insinuate guilt or innocence without concrete evidence.

    I certainly hope these events did not happen. But until evidence is forthcoming, I would suggest that it is prudent to spare the guy’s reputation. There is always that chance that he is innocent. But if his name has been prematurely tarnished in the public eye of the Internet, how does one get that back? They don’t.

    If he’s proven guilty… ok, fair game. Have at it.

    Just my two cents.
    and I still love the Lost Ogle.

  12. Years ago the editor of the paper I was writing for got busted for shoplifting at the local Wally World. At the edit staff meeting to discuss how we were going to handle it, our publisher, as those glorified ad reps are wont to do, wanted to simply ignore it. That’s when the grizzled old reporter who sat next to me said something that perhaps the managers at the Oklahoman need to consider…

    She said “OK, fine. Bury it. But ask yourself this: do you want people to read about it in our paper, or do you want them to read about it in another paper? Because either way, you can bet your ass they’re going to read about it somewhere.”

    We covered the story. A quick background check revealed this guy had a long history of theft dating back to college (way to vet your hires, CNHI).

    It’s interesting to say the least, to cover the arraignment of a guy who just a couple days before was assigning you stories. I’m guessing there’s a reporter at the Oklahoman who’s going to be experiencing something similar…

  13. And just like this guy, after the arrests in college, and an arrest while working as a reporter at a small paper in Wyoming, our former editor had taken to using his middle name as his first. Guess that’s SOP when you’re trying to hide the past…

  14. Witness said he showed him photos of the tornado damage. Police show up there is no SD card.
    Very suspicious. There is no way he could have shown photos and not had an SD card.

  15. I worked with Zeke at a different newspaper. He was great at his job, and I knew he’d do well wherever he went. I hope this allegation isn’t true. I never knew about his Montana arrest, but I never felt the need to check his criminal history either.

    • One thing the Oklahoman story points out that TLO never did is that Campfield has not been charged with anything at this point. The citizen’s complaint has been turned in, but it could be anywhere from two to four weeks before the prosecutor decides whether to file anything. TLO also didn’t bother reporting that he was released on a surety bond until that decision has been made.

    • Or the cop doesn’t know the difference between “does he work there” and “is he working for you here right now,” or, the supervisor was asked one question but answered another. Jesus H. Christ. All dichotomies are false.

  16. As we dive ever deeper into the mysteries of “Zeke-gate,” one must wonder what kind of fit Kelly Dyer Fry must have thrown when it was obvious this story could no longer be ignored.

  17. The statement released by Kelly Dyer Fry, Editor of the Oklahoman, seems outrages on top of the fact that he has not been fired or even suspended. But under the surface there is a reason for all of it… The Oklahoman is putting it’s finger in the hole in the dam and behind the dam is a massive lawsuit waiting to break forth. At this point they pretty well have to “stand by their employee” … if they didn’t they would be automatically liable and might as well start writing big checks to the victims. It’s really, really pathetic and disgusting that for monetary reasons The Oklahoman won’t fire, suspend, or even say anything negative about their sexually perverted employee… and Ms. Kelly Dyer Fry is just the messenger and towing the line like a good company gal is expected to… in the future she’ll probably get rewarded with promotion and merit pay increases for her faithfulness.

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