Newspaper Says Gene Stipe Benefits From Train Sale To State

Monday, April 23rd 2007, 11:06 am
By: News On 6

GUTHRIE, Okla. (AP) -- A newspaper report says former state Senator Gene Stipe and a business partner received $300,000 in state money from the sale of railroad cars to a group in Guthrie in 2000. The sale came after Stipe arranged for funding for an excursion train project that has never been developed.

The railroad cars have sat unused and abandoned on a track near the Guthrie train depot since the sale six years ago.

Two people confirmed to The Oklahoman that they provided information to the FBI about the train sale, indicating it may be part of an ongoing federal grand jury investigation involving Stipe.

Documents obtained by The Oklahoman include a letter written by Stipe, which identifies the seller of the train cars as Phipps Enterprises. The company was owned by Stipe and Pittsburg County businessman Steve Phipps.