The woman who filed a protective order against a Tulsa County official did not want media attention. She says she didn't want to ruin anyone's reputation or try in any way to "make money" on her ordeal.
Now Jennifer Newman felt like she had to speak out about what compelled her to initiate a court action that would make headlines for weeks. News on 6 anchor Tami Marler has the exclusive interview.
"It had me scared. I didn't know who it was. Was it a kid driving by? You know I kind of thought it was someone local driving by when only one car was in the driveway." Jennifer Newman says she was getting obscene phone calls when her husband was away. She was afraid for her - and her children's safety. "I hung up the phone and they wouldn't hang up because I tried to call Rick on his cell phone and I couldn't. I tried several times, but they wouldn't hang up."
The "private number" calls came so frequently, Jennifer stopped answering the phone altogether. Her phone company told her they could trace the number if she first filed a police report, which she did, in Creek County. "The sheriff told me after I got a few phone calls traced to call him back and then we would come back and proceed with a protective order. And so everything I did was kind of prompted by the police and the phone company together kind of coordinating what I needed to do."
When the phone company documented the number from two more calls, Newman says she'd already decided to file a protective order, before she had any idea who was calling. "No clue. None. I wouldn't have ever dreamed it is who it is." Creek County Sheriff's investigators say the number traces back to the personal cell phone of Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel, whose attorney maintains he has done nothing wrong.
Jenniferâ€™s husband Rick Newman: "people have insinuated this was to smear him, we want money. You know we want it to be told we don't want nothing but to be left alone." The Newmans say they just wanted to feel safe when the phone rings. Jennifer Newman: "To get the phone calls to stop. And have the phone calls stopped? Effective the day that I filed the protective order, April 8th was the last phone call I got."
The Newmans dropped their request for a protective order last week. They say now the matter is out of their hands, but they will cooperate with the on-going criminal investigation into Ken Yazel. Creek County officials will determine whether there are any charges to be filed.