Bail was set at $144,000.
What adds to this drama is that a very controversial Democrat prosecutor(David Prater) is pushing the case. Prater said; “We believe that there may be other lawmakers who have engaged in the same behavior, and I encourage them to self-report with the Ethics Commission in an attempt to mitigate their exposure,” Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said after filing the charge.
- "Gus Blackwell, R-Laverne, is accused in the criminal case of embezzling $23,741 in campaign funds. He also is accused of making four false per diem claims against the state for overnight stays that didn't happen and committing perjury on eight campaign reports. The former pastor is accused in the Ethics Commission civil action of misusing campaign funds, failing to report all of his contributions and expenses, knowingly filing false campaign reports and submitting faked documents during the investigation to try to cover up his wrongdoing."
- “Mr. Prater has singled out Gus Blackwell and has wrongly charged an innocent man,” his latest attorney, Stephen Jones, said. “A charge is one thing. Proving the case is another. Starting today, Gus Blackwell gets his day in court where we will show this prosecutorial overreach is completely unjustified.”
Blackwell may to prison if convicted. Former insurance commissioner, Carroll Fisher, served several months in prison for embezzling campaign funds and lying on a campaign report. Blackwell declined a plea agreement that would have spared him any prison time. That deadline to agree to the deal was May 2nd. Instead, he switched attorneys. He could have faced even more allegations, if not for the statute of limitations.
Ironically, Blackwell has recently been a paid lobbyist for a number of special interests including the Oklahoma Corrections professionals.
Read further at The Oklahoman.