Oklahoma prosecutors drop Broken Arrow Public Schools perjury charge [The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City]
(Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 04--At the request of state prosecutors, a perjury charge was dismissed Thursday against a former employee of a telecommunication company who was accused of lying about the source of 2007 Final Four basketball tickets.
Those tickets were given to the then-superintendent of Broken Arrow Public Schools.
Eddie Dale Bryson, former vice president and general manager of Oklahoma operations for Windstream Corp., entered into a one-year deferred-prosecution agreement with the state attorney general's office. He was indicted by Oklahoma's multicounty grand jury.
The agreement includes a requirement that Bryson, of Sekiu, Wash., pay $2,500 to the nonprofit Broken Arrow Public Schools Foundation and cannot claim it as a deduction on any state or federal tax returns.
Bryson has made the payment, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Thursday evening.
Bryson also agreed he would not violate any city, state or federal laws and that he will cooperate fully with the attorney general's office, according to the agreement filed in Oklahoma County District Court.
If Bryson complies with the deferred-prosecution agreement, he will serve no jail or prison time and will have no conviction.
Bryson was accused of lying to Oklahoma's multicounty grand jury while testifying Aug. 21 in Oklahoma City. The grand jury indicted him a short time later.
The grand jury in August also indicted fired Superintendent Jim Sisney and Windstream, which is based in Little Rock, Ark. Both Sisney and the company were charged with bribery and conspiracy.
The state attorney general's office last month dismissed bribery and conspiracy counts against Sisney shortly after he agreed to dismiss his lawsuit against the Broken Arrow School District.
Sisney also entered into a one-year deferred-prosecution agreement with the attorney general's office. The agreement included a requirement that he make a $9,500 payment to the Broken Arrow Public Schools Foundation. In 2008, accusations of wrongdoing and improper bidding practices led to the firing of Sisney, who filed a defamation lawsuit against the Broken Arrow School District and others.
Counts of bribery and conspiracy against a school district also were dismissed last month against Windstream, which also entered into a one-year deferred prosecution agreement.
Windstream must make a $100,000 nontax-deductible payment to the Broken Arrow Public Schools Foundation.
The indictments against Sisney and Windstream were filed in Tulsa County District Court.
Grand jurors alleged in the bribery indictments that Windstream illegally provided Sisney two basketball tickets to the 2007 Final Four in Atlanta, as well as other gratuities, as a show of appreciation. Corporation officials had identified the Broken Arrow School District as one of its top customers, according to the indictments.
Grand jurors allege in the perjury indictment that Bryson tried to mislead them. They allege Bryson claimed he gave Sisney his own two Final Four tickets when he couldn't go. Bryson then worked for Windstream.
"I had two tickets that were given to me by the corporation," Bryson testified, according to his indictment. "I couldn't go. I'm not, to be very frank, a huge basketball fan. If it was a football game, I probably would have found a way to go. ... I asked him if he was interested in going, and he said yes."
The grand jury alleged that Windstream and Sisney conspired to "impair, obstruct or defeat the lawful function and duties of the school board." Sisney and Windstream denied wrongdoing, but entered into the deferred prosecution agreements "as a compromise of disputed claims," according to court documents.
A Broken Arrow School District official said earlier that Windstream is no longer the district's telecommunications service provider.
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