Judge orders retirement system to pay Stipe benefits

Wednesday, August 10th 2005, 10:04 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A judge has ruled that former state Senator Gene Stipe will receive the retirement benefits that were withheld after he pled guilty to federal felony charges.

The Oklahoma Public Employee Retirement System had ruled that Stipe forfeit some of his benefits, saying he violated his constitutional oath of office.

But District Judge Barbara Swinton disagreed.

The longest-serving lawmaker in Oklahoma history now will receive more than $7,000 a month, plus the withheld benefits of more than $130,000.

Stipe pled guilty to two felony counts and one misdemeanor in connection with a scheme to funnel money illegally into a 1998 congressional race.

He served in the Oklahoma Legislature for 53 years.