The story in today's Tulsa World describes a showdown being played out in the state's media. Here's part of that dialogue:
The Rules Committee is investigating the actions of former Speaker, Jeff Hickman, in using state funds to settle a claim of sexual harassment and wrongful termination, brought by Hollie Bishop, an employee of the House, and assigned to Rep. Dan Kirby.
The committee is also investigating a harassment alegation leveled against Rep Will Fourkiller, brought by a teenage female page who was interning at the capitol during a week in Spring regular session.
Both Kirby & Fourkiller were easily reelected to new terms, last November. The sexual harassment charges were kept secret by former Speaker Hickman, who termed out of elective office. Hickman settled the state's potential liability in the matter, in his last hours in office.
Kirby initially resigned from office, but rescinded his resignation within a week. He was technically able to, because his initial declaration was not rendered directly to the Governor, as the state constitution requires.
Bishop is said to be residing in Norman, OK, and no longer involved in state government employment. She did hire a law firm to represent her legal claim against the House of Representatives for the chamber's part in terminating her shortly after she filed a harassment claim. The official termination came without any cause listed.
Bishop received more than $28,000. Her legal counsel was paid separately, in excess of $16,000. Hickman labeled the payment as housekeeping and cleaning services.
Read the full report of the Tulsa World, here.