OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After the arrest of Epic Charter Schools co-founders and former chief financial officer, more information is coming to light regarding how they were paid and what they did with their money.

Founders David Chaney and Ben Harris along with former CFO Josh Brock, created a scheme to use the Student Learning Fund as their “personal piggy bank.”

Cindy Byrd, State Auditor and Inspector, said in a press conference Thursday that $142 million was taken under the guise of the learning fund.

“Ben Harris and David Chaney used the Student Learning Fund as a line of credit to provide cash flow to their business,” said Byrd.

A section of the affidavit explained that Chaney used a credit card tied to the fund for personal purchases, including vacations and campaign contributions.

Harris and Brock added to the campaign contributions which totaled $460,000.

That money went to 54 House members and 10 Senators. All of them are current state lawmakers.

SenatorsHouse membersHouse Cont.House Cont.
Paul Rosino – $5,600Preston Stinson – $28,000Denise Crosswhite Hader – $1,000Steve Bashore – $1,000
Frank Simpson – $3,000Chris Kannady – $14,800Eddy Dempsey – $1,000T.J. Marti – $1,000
Kim David – $3,000Kevin Wallace – $10,300Garry Mize – $1,000Tammy Townley – $1,000
Greg Treat – $2,700Rhonda Baker – $5,400Jay Steagall – $1,000Tammy West – $1,000
Marty Quinn – $2,000Avery Frix – $2,500Jeff Boatman – $1,000Terry O’Donnell – $1,000
Zack Taylor – $2,000James Grego – $2,000Judd Strom – $1,000Todd Russ – $1,000
Bill Coleman – $1,000Jim Olsen – $2,000Kenton Patzkowsky – $1,000Tommy Hardin – $1,000
Brent Howard – $1,000Jonathan Echols – $2,000Kevin McDugle – $1,000Trey Caldwell – $1,000
David Bullard – $1,000Ross Ford – $2,000Kevin West – $1,000Ty Burns – $1,000
John Michael Montgomery – $1,000Sean Roberts – $2,000Kyle Hilbert – $1,000Wendi Stearman – $1,000
Nicole Miller – $1,750Marilyn Stark – $1,000Chad Caldwell – $500
Alyshia Pittman – $1,500Mark Lepak – $1,000Jadine Nollan – $500
Anthony Moore – $1,000Rande Worthen – $1,000Josh West – $500
Brian Hill – $1,000Rick West – $1,000Mark Osburn – $500
Carol Bush – $1,000Robert Manger – $1,000Ryan Martinez – $500
Cyndi Munson – $1,000Ronny Johns – $1,000
Daniel Pae – $1,000Rusty Cornwell – $1,000
Danny Williams – $1,000Sherrie Conley – $1,000
David Smith – $1,000Stan May – $1,000

Contributions by Harris, Chaney, and Brock spanned six years from 2014-2020.

The top two names in the gubernatorial race, Joy Hofmeister ($52,138) and Governor Kevin Stitt ($10,800), are also on the list of recipients.

State Superintendent Hofmeister said in a statement:

“It’s outrageous Epic’s founders would use the Learning Fund, meant for children, as their own personal trough for political contributions. Today, I have set in motion steps with the Ethics Commission to legally refund back to public schools any campaign donations that may have come from public funds via Epic’s founders.

And frankly, if they thought their contribution would ensure favored treatment by me, they were clearly mistaken as I requested this audit, fought to hold them accountable and directed the clawback of $20 million from Epic in misappropriated funds and penalties.”

Joy Hofmeister

KFOR is awaiting a response from Governor Stitt’s campaign.

Speaking today with Cindy Byrd about other dark money contributions by Epic Charter Schools, former state auditor Gary Jones said politicians that received money should give it back.

“Give it to a good charity,” said Jones. “Or give it to back to the state of Oklahoma, it’s the taxpayers money.”