Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Democrat Threatens to File Complaint against Keating

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Democrat Threatens to File Complaint against Keating

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A state Democratic official threatened on Wednesday to file an ethics complaint against Republican Gov. Frank Keating if the governor doesn't reimburse Conoco for a fishing trip to Alaska.

Gordon Melson, Democratic Party executive director, held a Capitol news conference to question Keating's explanation that the trip was a gift to the state.

Melson said he knows of no other governors who have accepted expense-paid vacations as a state gift. He said Keating should pay back the cost of the four-day trip made in July, estimated by Conoco officials to be between $6,000 and $7,000.

Keating should at least come up with a better explanation for what "appears to be a clear-cut violation" of state ethics laws, Melson said.

Spokesmen for Keating defended the trip and said the governor had no intention of paying back the money.

John Cox, the governor's press secretary, called Melson's comments a smokescreen to deflect attention from an investigation of the state Health Department and patronage favors given Democrats. …

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