Order closes Stipe case

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) - A federal judge dismisses a petition seeking to revoke probation for former state Senator Gene Stipe.

The decision earlier this week by U.S. District Judge Ronald White effectively closes the case against Stipe, who was found mentally incompetent to assist in his defense last month.

White wrote in his order that had competency not been an issue, he probably would've found that Stipe violated his probation.

The judge noted that Stipe's attorneys acknowledged he had unauthorized contact with Steve Covington, a fellow convicted felon
who also is a business associate of Stipe's.

The judge said such a ruling could've resulted in a four- to six-month prison sentence, which he said Stipe basically served during his two stays at a federal prison hospital in Missouri.

Federal prosecutors tried to revoke the 82-year-old's probation after he was accused of funneling excessive donations into the campaigns of candidates through straw donors.

He was on probation for campaign violations and perjury in the failed congressional campaign of Walt Roberts.


Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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