Lane pleads guilty; Gene Stipe hearing set

Friday, March 28th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Former state Senator Jim Lane pleaded guilty Friday to a conspiracy charge.

Lane entered the plea in federal court in Washington, DC, in connection with illegal contributions to the 1998 congressional campaign of Walt Roberts.

Government officials also say former Senator Gene Stipe will appear at a hearing in the same court on Tuesday. Justice Department officials say Stipe will enter a plea to two felony charges and one misdemeanor in the same case.

Stipe is accused of illegally funneling more than $200,000 to Roberts' campaign. He resigned from the Senate this month after more than 50 years in the Legislature.

Lane is the third person to plead guilty in the case.

Roberts and Stipe's personal assistant, Charlene Spears, pleaded guilty to felony and misdemeanor conspiracy charges. The three have agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation into the 1998 campaign.

Roberts won the Democratic primary, but lost in the general election to Republican Wes Watkins, who has retired from Congress.