State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister appeared in an Oklahoma County court room, Friday morning, and pleaded “Not Guilty” to charges of campaign violations.
According to court documents, the investigation reveals a conspiracy to commit campaign contribution violations and illegal coordination by members of a registered 501c4 called Oklahomans for Public School Excellence (OPSE), the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA), the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) and Hofmeister. The three groups are registered with the state as corporations.
Sources tell News 9 that Hofmeister was in and out of the Oklahoma County Jail around 9:30 a.m. on Friday. She posted $8,000 bail for two counts of Conspiracy to Commit a Felony, one count of Contributions by Corporation and one count of Limits on Contributions to Candidates.
A preliminary hearing conference has been set for 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 13.
Right now, Hofmeister is the only one of the five people charged who has surrendered herself to the Oklahoma County Jail.
New 9's Aaron Brilbeck spent Friday morning trying to track down the other four people. When he went to ask Robert Fount Holland about the charges at his place of business at AH Strategies near the Capitol, the doors to the building were locked, and the phones rang busy or refused to let him leave a message.
News 9's Aaron Brilbeck also went to the home of Lela Odom, the former head of the Oklahoma Education Association. Though she did answer the door, she said she couldn't talk about the charges.
Next, Aaron went to the Choctaw home of Stephanie Milligan, who was a campaign strategist for Hofmeister during her 2014 run. No one answered the door at her home, but News 9 is aware she is currently doing work for the Trump presidential campaign. The attempts to reach Steven Crawford, the former executive director of the CCOSA were also unsuccessful. Court records show, Crawford lives in Roff, Oklahoma.
News 9 check and there are arrest warrants out for all four of the defendants left and they will have to surrender themselves or risk being arrested.