Court hearing set for Okla. Tea Party co-founder

By: From Wire Reports
By: From Wire Reports

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A hearing is slated to get underway for the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party charged with blackmail and violating the computer crime act.

The hearing for 54-year-old Al Gerhart is set for Friday afternoon in Oklahoma County District Court. Prosecutors say Gerhart sent a threatening email to a state senator about legislation favored by conservative tea party supporters.

An affidavit of probable cause says Gerhart admitted that he sent an email to Republican Sen. Cliff Branan of Oklahoma City. Branan chairs the Senate Energy Committee.

The email involved a bill that would have prohibited state organizations from following a United Nations plan that helps cities and countries become more environmentally sustainable.

The email allegedly demands that Branan hear the bill or be made "the laughing stock of the Senate."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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