Rep. Kirby rejects invitation to go before investigative committee for misconduct allegations
OKLAHOMA CITY – Less than a week after two Democratic state lawmakers announced they wouldn’t attend an investigative meeting into allegations of misconduct, a Republican representative is joining them with a series of new concerns.
“I served on a previous investigation with basically the same rules and non-disclosure agreement, and did not believe it provided the transparency that was expected or deserved,” Kouplen said in a statement.
Rep. Will Fourkiller, who is accused of sexually harassing a page who was in high school, also said he would not attend the closed meeting.
He said he has ‘nothing to hide’ but wants to testify in an ‘open and fully transparent proceeding.’
On Monday, Rep. Dan Kirby announced that he would not appear before the committee because of four issues that he feels would impair his due process.
Kirby is accused of sexually harassing a female staffer before firing her, an allegation Kirby disputes.
Now, Kirby is speaking out about a series of concerns he has about the committee’s meetings.
Kirby says he and his attorney were not notified or present during the questioning of witnesses, and was not given a list of witnesses or the results of any investigation that was already completed.
In fact, Kirby says that he has not been given any documentation that the committee has, and has to rely on the information given to and disclosed by the press to even understand the allegations against him.
“I supported the committee and looked forward to the opportunity to defend myself and restore my reputation. I adamantly deny that I sexually harassed anyone who worked with me at the Capitol. However, I support an open, transparent, and fair process like anyone accused of wrongdoing would be allowed,” Kirby said. “This committee serves as judge, jury, and executioner with the authority to affect my reputation and the representation of District 75; as such, I would think that it would disclose to me the entirety of the allegations and any alleged evidence presented so that I would be given a fair and reasonable opportunity to defend myself.”
State Rep. Josh Cockroft, chair of the House Special Investigation Committee, responded to Kirby’s announcement with the following statement:
“Rep. Kirby has been offered every document the Committee believed he could be provided without compromising confidential information. What Rep. Kirby seems to want is the opportunity to cross-examine his accusers, and that is simply not going to happen. Allowing that would discourage future victims from coming forward. It was explained to Rep. Kirby that this process is closed to protect the victims, not the elected officials. I don’t understand Rep. Kirby’s confusion. There is no mystery as to what we are investigating here. The allegations, his own words and his text messages have been published in detail in the The Oklahoman. Most of the evidence relating to Rep. Kirby has already been made public. He claims he did nothing wrong. That claim is inconsistent with the allegations. We just want him to appear before the Committee and answer the allegations. If he believes he did nothing wrong, he has nothing to hide. If he chooses to not appear before the Committee, that is his prerogative; However, we are going to continue our investigation with or without him and release our findings and recommendations to the public.”