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Former Lawmaker Charged

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ Former state Representative and state Democratic Party chairman Mike Mass was charged in federal court in Muskogee Thursday with felony conspiracy. Prosecutors say Mass conspired with two other lawmakers to get money to National Pet Products and Indian Nation Entertainment.

The other two lawmakers are not identified but prosecutors say they are no longer in the Legislature. The FBI has revealed in court documents that agents are investigating Mass and former lawmakers Randall Erwin and Jerry Hefner for taking kickbacks from businessman Steve Phipps in exchange for sending state money to Phipps' projects.

Phipps owns both National Pet Products and Indian Nation Entertainment and was a business partner of former Senator Gene Stipe.

Stipe is also under investigation.
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