Former Broken Arrow Public Schools superintendent, Windstream Corp. indicted on bribery, conspiracy

TULSA COUNTY, Okla. - A former Broken Arrow Public Schools superintendent and an Arkansas telecommunications company have been indicted on bribery and conspiracy charges.

The indictment unsealing of Jim Sisney and Windstream Corporation was announced Thursday afternoon.

The document claims Sisney, now 54, twice accepted a bribe -- two tickets to the NCAA Basketball Tournament -- from the company in 2007.

Sisney also received free lodging, "free food, free beverages, free event souvenirs, free ground transportation" and free entertainment while in Atlanta for the games, the document states.

In return, Sisney was expected to sway the school district to continue using Windstream.

Windstream has denied the allegations, according to their website. "We have always taken great pride in serving our customers with integrity," said John Fletcher, executive vice president and general counsel for Windstream. "We have cooperated fully in the investigation and will vigorously contest the charges."

"Today's indictments are the result of many months of investigation into practices by a former employee and a vendor of Broken Arrow Public Schools," said Okla. Attorney General Scott Pruitt. "I'm very grateful for the sacrifice made by multicounty grand jurors as well as the effort of state prosecutors and investigators in the Attorney General's Office and the state Auditor's Office in conducting a thorough investigation. It is important that we remain vigilant in holding accountable those entrusted as public servants."

Sisney was fired in 2008 after suing several board members and local vendor Air Assurance for defamation. Sisney claimed they were violating competitive bidding laws and filed a wrongful termination lawsuit.

If found guilty, Sisney could face up to 20 years in prison. Windstream Corporation could face fines of up to $28,000.

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