Oklahoma County employees are raising red flags after an elected official told them they’ll have to drink alcohol on a mandatory work trip.
Oklahoma County Clerk David Hooten is running for State Treasurer. Two county employees told News 9 they’re sharing their story now, just 19 days out from the election. They hope he is never put in a position of power again.
Hooten said he’s never done anything questionable in his career.
“We now have (the training) scheduled,” Hooten is heard telling his employees in an audio recording obtained by News 9. “It’s on the books. Everyone has to attend.”
“We will be sore the next day because you’re going to do some stuff that is very physical, and literally, your body will be hurting the next day,” Hooten also said in the recording.
According to sources, in the April 26 meeting Hooten told three female employees about a required work trip, saying some waivers may be necessary because they will be drinking while on the job.
“There will be alcohol involved, meaning we will drink,” Hooten said during the meeting. “We will do things. We will gamble. We will do a bunch of things. Some will be fun. Some will be scary.”
The two county employees told News 9 that Hooten’s drinking remarks are not even the most alarming part.
While the employees are drinking, Hooten said he won’t feel a thing.
“Just so you all know, I’ve been genetically altered, so that I don’t get drunk no matter what,” Hooten is heard telling his employees. “They gave me a chemical that changes your brain.”
“Why would I want to go get drunk with, first of all, an elected official on county time?” One county employee told News 9. “And why would I want to get drunk with a person who’s made my life an absolute living hell?”
“I don’t want this to continue to be a trend,” the other employee said. “I don’t want voters electing this man to another position that he shouldn’t be in.”
“The whole point is someone’s making a big deal over something that never happened right around election time,” Hooten told News 9 in an interview Thursday.
The employees said human resources stepped in to stop the outing. Hooten claims parts of it were never going to happen in the first place.
“There was never going to be alcohol,” Hooten said, despite mentioning it multiple times in the April conversation with employees.
“But realize, that is, that’s part of the training is that you take them to their fear level, and then you don’t ever do it,” Hooten said. “It’s a trust issue.”
Hooten explained out of the three employees, one fears flying, one is scared of snakes and the other’s fear is drinking.
Hooten said he planned on taking them to lunch, iFly indoor skydiving and a casino, but he wasn’t planning on drinking with them.
The county employees said the entire plan crossed the line.