House Democrats Seek Clarification On Status Of State Representative
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma - Oklahoma's House of Representatives convenes Tuesday, and Democratic lawmakers have questions about Republican State Representative Dan Kirby.
On December 23, 2016, Kirby announced he would leave office at the end of 2016 after revelations that taxpayer dollars were used to settle a sexual harassment claim against him.
But last week, Kirby changed his mind, saying his decision was made in haste and that he didn’t know about the settlement that was made on his behalf.
Monday, House Democrats demanded more information about the settlement and whether the law was followed in making it.
In the letter, they say:
Representative Kirby’s resignation letter has not been produced publicly and the House Democratic Caucus believes that the document is a public record, that the citizens of the State of Oklahoma have a right to see the resignation document and that the production of a true and correct copy of the document is essential for the determination to be made as to Representative Kirby’s legal status to not only be seated on Organizational Day on January 3, 2017 but also as to Representative Kirby’s legal ability to cast a vote or votes on the important issues that may come before the Oklahoma House of Representatives on that date.
Kirby, 58, was accused by a former legislative assistant (LA), Hollie Bishop, 28, of sexually harassing her and then firing her after she refused his advances and reported them to Human Resources, according to a letter sent by Bishop’s lawyers to the House.
State records show she and her lawyers were paid $44,500 in two separate payments. One payment was marked “legal settlement” paid to the. The other payment, to her attorneys, was filed under “housekeeping” and cleaning supplies.
The new speaker-elect Charles McCall's (R-Atoka) office said there was no cover-up that the payment marked as housekeeping was simply a clerical error in the coding of the Offices of Management and Enterprise Services system.
Oklahoma House of Representatives Democrats also called for an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against Kirby and settlement payments made by the state but did not call for his resignation.