Jurisdiction Of Stipe Case Transferred To Muskogee

Wednesday, April 18th 2007, 2:42 pm
By: News On 6

AP-MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) -- A federal court in Washington D.C. is transferring jurisdiction of former state Senator Gene Stipe's probation to a federal judge in Muskogee. The move could speed up any effort by prosecutors to send Stipe to prison for alleged new crimes.

With the transfer federal prosecutors could file a petition in federal court in Muskogee to revoke Stipe's probation.

A federal grand jury has apparently been investigating Stipe. Former state Representative Mike Mass pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy in a case that prosecutors say diverted nearly $3 million of taxpayer money to companies owned by Stipe and estranged business partner Steve Phipps.

Stipe is on probation after pleading guilty in 2003 to conspiracy and perjury involving illegal campaign donations to a 1998 congressional campaign.