NAACP President Files Complaint against Keating

Article excerpt

The president of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the NAACP on Wednesday filed a verified complaint against Gov. Frank Keating with the State Ethics Commission.

Unlike an unverified complaint, as Roosevelt Milton filed in February, a verified complaint requires only a majority vote of the five-member commission to launch an investigation. The panel must be unanimous in choosing to investigate an unverified complaint.

Milton was joined at a State Capitol news conference by Gordon Melson, former executive director of the Oklahoma Democratic Party. Melson, a former judge, is acting as Milton's legal adviser.

The complaint alleges that, by accepting $250,000 from New York financier Jack Dreyfus, then asking other government officials for favorable consideration of Dilantin, an anti-seizure drug touted by Dreyfus for behavioral modification, Keating improperly engaged in lobbying and violated his oath of office. State officials are prohibited from accepting anything of value for the performance of nonperformance of their duties. Milton also told the commission that Keating's handling of the money violated federal and state gift and tax laws, which require separate accounting of monetary gifts, and ethics regulations which require that such gifts be reported unless they are from family members.

"We do feel like there is a legitimate basis for this complaint," said Melson.

"We simply want to know what the parameters are," said Milton.

The NAACP would like it clarified whether it is legal for private individuals to give officials large amounts of money like this, he said.

"I want to say emphatically that this is a nonpartisan effort," Milton said.

No one in the NAACP or Democratic Party knew anything of the monetary gifts until Keating was left off of the list of possible candidates to fill Bush administration positions, and the checks were revealed from within the administration itself, he said.

"We come to you on behalf of integrity and ethics in government," Milton said.

Keating has said that the $250,000 was given to him by Dreyfus to help pay for the Keating children's education.

Attachments to the complaint also reference letters Keating wrote to President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and the other 49 governors seeking wider use of Dilantin, and use by Keating and family members of "plush accommodations," some owned by Dreyfus, in New York and Lake Tahoe. These events came to light in documents turned over to Melson by Keating's office under a freedom of information request. Earlier it was disclosed that meetings were set up with Department of Corrections officials seeking their support in expanding the use of Dilantin to include behavior modification and other uses.

Milton is asking the commission to seek the background questionnaire that Keating provided to the George W. …