Oklahoma Co. Clerk's Sexual Harassment Criminal Investigation Expands To Campaign Violation Allegations

Tuesday, June 14th 2022, 7:23 am


The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office's criminal investigation into recordings of Oklahoma County Clerk David Hooten has expanded to include alleged campaign ethics violations.

Two Oklahoma County employees first reached out to News 9 last week with allegations of sexual harassment they wanted brought to light ahead of Hooten's run for State Treasurer.

“I don’t want this to continue to be a trend,” one employee said. “I don’t want voters electing this man to another position that he shouldn’t be in.”

The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office talked to two alleged victims of Hooten's sexual harassment, as well as county human resources and two county commissioners’ offices.

The investigator called the comments “shocking” and “outlandish.”

“There will be alcohol involved meaning we will drink, we will do things, we will gamble, we will do a bunch of things some will be fun some will be scary,” Hooten is heard telling employees on an April 26, 2021 recording.

"The actions of Mr. Hooten in the workplace are not appropriate and have caused great concern and anxiety for the affected employees," the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office report found.

“Just so you all know I’ve been genetically altered, so that I don’t get drunk no matter what they gave me a chemical that changes your brain,” Hooten was recorded telling his employees.

The 15-page report obtained through an open records request notes that these are not the first allegations of sexual harassment against Hooten.

“During the investigation it was learned there have been allegations of sexual harassment concerning Mr. Hooten which help to exasperate the anxiety of these employees and what would be taking place if they had to attend this function,” the report said.

Hooten said Monday he could not comment on a pending investigation.

“Someone’s making a big deal over something that never happened right around election time,” Hooten told News 9 of the harassment claims last week.

The scope of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office investigation into Hooten has expanded to include allegedly hiring campaign staffers on the county payroll.

“It was learned Mr. Hooten has hired people who worked on his political campaign and expected a previous employee to continue campaign duties while being paid by the County and performing in official capacity for the County,” the report said in part.

The report indicated Garrity Hamilton is currently employed by Hooten in the county clerk’s office. Hamilton is also listed as the chairperson of Hooten’s state treasurer campaign.

Ultimately, the report found that “Mr. Hooten has created a work environment which is not conducive to normal daily operation and his actions should be addressed by the appropriate body of Oklahoma County Government.”

Because the clerk is a county-wide elected official, it's not clear who would address the complaints.

Oklahoma County district attorney David Prater told NonDoc.com that the sexual harassment allegations “did not violate Oklahoma criminal statutes.”

However, no word yet from the district attorney on the allegations against Hooten’s state treasurer campaign.