McAlester honors former state senator Gene Stipe

Wednesday, November 17th 2004, 6:30 am
By: News On 6

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) -- Red and white balloons reached for the ceiling and posters and pins decorated a McAlester convention hall Tuesday night for former Senator Gene Stipe.

About 200 of Stipe's former constituents, city and county officials and family and friends honored him Tuesday. The event capped a day the McAlester mayor officially declared "Gene Stipe Appreciation Day."

The 78-year-old former state senator, attorney and old-time political powerhouse spent more than 50 years in the Legislature representing Pittsburg County.

But Stipe resigned amid scandal in March 2003 from the state Senate seat he first won in 1956. A month later he pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and perjury charges in a scheme to illegally fund a congressional campaign.