Audio Altered, Illegally Obtained McCurtain Co. Sheriff Claims

The McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office has released a statement regarding the recordings of several county officials (including the sheriff) allegedly containing discussions of violence and racism, the statement claims that the audio may have been altered.

Monday, April 17th 2023, 10:11 pm

By: News 9


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The McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office has released a statement regarding the recordings of several county officials (including the sheriff) allegedly containing discussions of violence and racism, the statement claims that the audio may have been altered, and was illegally obtained.

RELATED: FBI Investigating Alleged Death Threats Made By County Officials Against Oklahoma Newspaper Reporters

RELATED: Protestors Call For Resignation For Severeal McCurtain Co. Officials After Audio Clips Released

RELATED: McCurtain County Commission Convenes Emergency Meeting, Protestors Gather Outside 

The Sheriff’s Office’s full statement can be read here:

The last 72 hours have been amongst the most difficult and disruptive in recent memory. This is a very complex situation and one we regret having to address.
There is and has been an ongoing investigation into multiple, significant violation of the Oklahoma Security of Communications Act, Title 13, Chapters 176.3 and 176.4 which states that it is illegal to secretly record a conversation in which you are not involved and do not have the consent of at least one of the involved parties. There is a significant number of victims of this criminal activity and it has taken significant effort and time to identify them and corroborate evidence.
Many of these recordings, like the one published by media outlets on Friday, have yet to be duly authenticated or validated. Our preliminary information indicates that the media released audio recording has, in fact, been altered. The motivation for doing so remains unclear at this point. That matter is actively being investigated.
In addition to being illegally obtained, the audio does not match the “transcription” of that audio, and is not precisely consistent with what has been put into print.
Multiple agencies are assisting in this ongoing investigation.
As a result of the press release that went out on Friday, a large number of threats of violence including death threats have been made against county employees and officials, their families and friends.
There will be continued press releases from this agency as the investigation comes to a close and findings are forwarded to the appropriate authorities for felony charges to be filed on those involved.

The more than three hours of audio recordings include discussions about hiring hitmen to carry out the murders.

"I've known two or three hit men, they're very quiet guys, yeah, who would cut no f*** mercy, yeah, in Louisiana, cause it's all mafia around here," said one of the county officials.

The recordings also include discussions about where the reporters' bodies could be buried. Willingham identified Sheriff Kevin Clardy, commissioners Mark Jennings and Robert Beck, and Alecia Manning with the sheriff's department as some of the people heard in the recording.

Investigation into the recordings is ongoing.

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