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“It’s very insulting,” Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate accused of not paying bills

OKLAHOMA CITY – Cathy Welch has owned Campaign Technology Professionals for 14 years, helping political candidates and political action committees keep track of their finances.

One of the candidates she worked with was Connie Johnson during her 2014 congressional campaign.

“We did all of her bookkeeping, reconciling her account, making her deposits, cutting checks and then also filing her reports with the FEC,” Welch said. “We take care of our clients, and I would hope to get that same respect.”

Almost three years later, Welch said Johnson still owes her almost $7,000 for her work. She said she was stunned when she realized Johnson is now in the race to become Oklahoma's governor.

“I was floored when I found out she was running for governor, opening a new committee, raising funds and still had her congressional committee open and completely left high and dry,” Welch said.

Welch said she has received emails from Johnson’s current staff, but they only offered to pay her $2,500. After KFOR contacted Johnson's campaign, Welch said she received another email from the staff, saying they would pay her $3,500 but nothing more.

“It’s very insulting. I mean, I’ve already paid all my staff for the work they did on her committee. I haven’t paid myself for it. I mean, that’s just money I’m eating,” Welch said.

And, Welch is not the only one saying she hasn’t been paid.

David Roberts said he was the field director for the 2014 federal campaign and claims Johnson owes him almost $5,000.

“I’ve spoken with the senator several times about this, and there’s always some arrangement usually around the corner but always it’s yet to come to fruition,” Roberts said. “If you can’t put folks in place to successfully run the finance arm of your campaign organization, then I think the voters should know that, especially when you are seeking to become the executive of our state.”

Another former campaign worker took Johnson to small claims court back in 2014 and won a judgement of more than $1,000.

“If you can’t take care of your own business, how can you take care of the business of the state?” Welch said.

Don Heath, the treasurer for Johnson’s campaign for governor, said he was only aware of the claim by Welch.

He sent KFOR the following statement:

“We have attempted to work through this claim with Ms. Welch and thought we were close to resolving it. I are surprised that she has gone to the press. Other factors may be at work: Ms. Welch now works as the designated filing agent for the campaign committee for Scott Inman for Governor.

Ms. Welch's claim is for unpaid fees billed to Connie's campaign committee in her race for US Senate in 2014. Ms. Welch served as accountant for compliance and filings. She was in charge of authorizing expenses and paying all bills. She authorized and paid expenses that resulted in her monthly fees not being paid for two months. She bears some responsibility for her unpaid fees.

We still hope we can work through this with her. Going to the press does not help.”