Hooten Tells News 9 He Will Resign Friday Amid Multiple Allegations, Denies Guilt

Thursday, June 16th 2022, 6:53 pm
By: Storme Jones, News 9


(UPDATE: 6:45 p.m.) Oklahoma County Clerk David Hooten has confirmed to News 9 that he will resign Friday. He has denied all the allegations against him.

"All the allegations against me are not true. But rather than go through a long, drawn-out trial and drag my family through this, I would rather choose to resign effective tomorrow. I've been very proud to represent Oklahoma County and we've done a tremendous job. We have an award-winning county clerk's office and I hope it will continue after I'm gone," said Hooten.

Hooten said he will remain on the ballot for Oklahoma State Treasurer.


*Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comments from Oklahoma County commissioners Brian Maughan and Kevin Calvey.*

Amid allegations of sexual harassment and campaign ethics violations, the Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners will consider supporting a legal motion to remove and suspend Oklahoma County clerk David Hooten from office.

Hooten also is a Republican candidate for Oklahoma State Treasurer.

According to an agenda item prepared for a 9 a.m. meeting June 21, commissioners will consider “discussion and possible action on the District Attorney’s Petition seeking removal and interim suspension of David B. Hooten, Oklahoma County Clerk, pursuant to Section 1194 of Title 22 on grounds of Oppression in Office, Corruption in Office, and Willful Maladministration.” 

District attorney David Prater confirmed the agenda item to News 9 but said he will wait to issue further comment.

Last month, the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office opened a criminal investigation into recordings of Oklahoma County clerk David Hooten. According to a 15-page report, the investigation expanded to include alleged campaign ethics violations.

According to an April 26 recording obtained by News 9, Hooten told three female employees they would be required to attend a work training where "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.”

Related: Employees Speak Out After Oklahoma County Clerk Plans Mandatory Training To Include Drinking, Gambling

The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office department investigator called the comments “shocking” and “outlandish.”

"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 said in part.

The scope of the Sheriff’s Office investigation into Hooten 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 continued.

The report indicated Garrity Hamilton is currently employed by Hooten in the clerk’s office.

Hamilton is also listed as the chairperson of Hooten’s state treasurer campaign.

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

Commissioner Kevin Calvey told News 9 he will vote in favor of the agenda item Tuesday.

"On legal or personnel matters, our legal counsel, the District Attorney, instructs us not to make statements in the media,” Calvey said. “In this case, the District Attorney himself has stated in the media, and I agree, that Hooten's recorded comments aired in the media recently, and his proposed work meeting involving alcohol and gambling, are not appropriate.” 

“In keeping with our standard instruction not to comment on legal or personnel issues, I will decline further comment pending guidance from the DA's office," Calvey said.

Commissioner Carrie Blumert declined to comment ahead of Tuesday’s vote.

"The allegations and the lawsuit against Clerk David Hooten are very serious and cause me a great deal of concern,” Commission Chairman Brian Maughan said. “I await to hear from District Attorney David Prater at Tuesday's commission meeting as to what options the county has and will vote accordingly." 

According to campaign finance reports, Maughan gave $1,000 to Hooten’s campaign for state treasurer.

According to the state statue sited in the agenda item, “The board of county commissioners may, in the case of any county or township officer, present such accusation and bring an action in the name of the county for the removal of such officer, and the district court shall have exclusive jurisdiction thereof.”