Congratulations to our readers that had David Ostrowe in their “Which Member of Kevin Stitt’s Cabinet Will Be The First One To Be Indicted” betting pool!
Yesterday afternoon, he beat out 14 other white people who look like they’re wearing someone else’s skin after a grand jury indicted him on bribery charges for allegedly threatening to withhold funding to the Oklahoma Tax Commission if it didn’t wave some tax penalties and debts for a former conservative lawmaker.
According to the indictment, former State Senator Jason Smalley complained to current State Senator Roger Thompson about a $10,000 tax bill he had to pay. Thompson reached out to Ostrowe – the Secretary of Digital Transformation and Administration – to see what he could do about it. Ostrowe – who previously worked in the fast-food industry and has no government experience – then apparently called a couple of tax commissioners and threatened to withhold agency funding if they didn’t break the law and clear the debts.
In a statement to The Oklahoman, David Ostrowe denies the allegations:
Ostrowe told The Oklahoman he did not make any threats whatsoever and that he stands by his actions.
He said he routinely interfaces with the Tax Commission on tax-related citizen issues because of his role.
“It’s a commonplace responsibility that I have,” he said. “At no time did I do anything illegal, improper or immoral. And hopefully my reputation for the work I’ve done for the state will stand for itself.”
“Only in Oklahoma,” he added.
Yeah, only in Oklahoma. I said the same thing when I first heard that Kevin Stitt appointed the guy who oversaw our state’s Burger Kings and Taco Bells to lead our state’s digital transformation!
In all fairness, he probably thought threatening to withhold money from the tax commission was on the same level as threatening to withhold red sauce from someone’s bean burrito. If only he had some knowledge or experience working in or around the government before accepting the job, maybe he wouldn’t have made that mistake. As they say, only in Oklahoma.
Anyway, I guess we’ll continue to follow this story and keep you updated. If you have any guesses or picks on who will be the next Stitt cabinet member to be indicted, leave a comment.