A candidate for state school superintendent is implicated in a criminal investigation.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater and his investigators are reviewing emails and text messages exchanged between the Republican nominee for state school superintendent, Joy Hofmeister, and political consultant Chad Alexander.
Court records indicate Hofmeister wanted Alexander to use a "super PAC" or dark money group to attack State Superintendent Janet Barresi.
While super PACS can raise unlimited sums of money for a campaign, it's illegal for those groups to collaborate fundraising or expenditures with a candidate.
"It happens," said News 9's Political Analyst Scott Mitchell. "Very seldom do people get caught, and no one has gotten caught here yet."
Search warrants show investigators are looking for evidence of political wrongdoing by reviewing Alexander's cell phones that were seized during his drug arrest in May.
Investigators suspect Alexander, political consultant Fount Holland and Holland's firm, AH Strategies, are involved in illegal collusion with political candidates, including Hofmeister.
"There's a court of public opinion and a real court, and those are two different segments of society," Mitchell said the court of public opinion is the most important right now. "That means the candidate that is involved with the consultants is going to have to do most of the explaining."
Joy Hofmeister issued the following statement:
"This has already been a story, and it came as a political stunt at the 11th hour by my opponent in an attempt to distract voters from her record. The voters saw through this overwhelmingly. The comments being referenced were made before I was even a candidate, and before I had even hired a consulting firm. As I have said before, I have no knowledge of any wrongdoing and if asked, I stand ready to assist with any questions to clear up this matter. In the mean time, I will stay focused on our campaign and continue advocating for the best education for our Oklahoma schoolchildren."
- Joy Hofmeister
AH Strategies' Fount Holland provided this statement:
"There was absolutely and unequivocally no coordination. In this case, Joy Hofmeister was not a candidate or a client of A,H, Strategies at the time those text messages were exchanged."
Chad Alexander's attorney, Tommy Adler, did not return our calls in time for this report.