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Member of Gov. Stitt's cabinet indicted for attempted bribery

Posted at 6:36 PM, Dec 17, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Kevin Stitt's secretary of digital transformation and administration is facing a felony charge.

David Ostrowe is charged with attempted bribery of a public official, according to court records. In a statement, Gov. Stitt's office said they are looking into the allegations against Ostrowe.

Governor Stitt is aware of the allegations involving Secretary Ostrowe and takes them seriously. We are still working to obtain more information regarding the details of the situation. The governor has faith in the fairness of Oklahoma’s justice system which includes the presumption of innocence.

An investigation conducted by Oklahoma Attorney General's Mike Hunter shows allegations against Ostrowe threatening Oklahoma Tax Commissioners.

In the affidavit, tax commissioners said Ostrowe told them to waive penalties and fees against JCG Futures LLC or Oklahoma State Senator Roger Thompson would cut the commission's funding.

"I've never heard Roger Thompson say that before," Jason Smalley, owner of JCG Futures LLC and former state senator, told 2 Works for You. "We served in the legislature for, I think, six years together, and I've never heard him threaten a state agency over withdrawing appropriation."

Smalley told 2 Works for You the tax commission penalized him as a result of a numerical error on his end. He said the fees were excessive and he appealed the dollar figure to the tax commission.

Smalley said he called his Sen. Thompson for help.

"I just let him know, I said, 'Hey, I've got a judgement...or I guess a dispute coming up with the tax commission,'" he said. "I'd appreciate you reaching out and seeing if this is something that they'd be able to look at.'"

In the affidavit, Thompson told investigators he made Ostrowe aware of Smalley's appeal and asked Ostrowe to help with the situation. Thompson said he never knew Ostrowe to put pressure on the commission.

Smalley told 2 Works for You he and Thompson never discussed anything of the sort.

"We followed the letter of the law. It wasn't anything nefarious on our end or on my end," Smalley said. "That would be ludicrous for me to even ask of, quite frankly, I've always known that that's illegal."

Smalley said he's never met or spoken with Ostrowe.

Sen. Thompson responded to 2 Works for You's request for an interview with this statement:

I have always and will always advocate for the citizens of Oklahoma in trying to navigate government bureaucracy. I have done this no matter their position and most importantly in accordance with the law.
Sen. Roger Thompson

Ostrowe faces up to five years in jail. 2 Works for You reached out to Ostrowe for comment but has not heard back.

CLICK HERE to read the full indictment.

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