OKLAHOMA COUNTY (KFOR) – Oklahoma County Clerk David Hooten officially resigned Friday morning amid ongoing controversy over alleged sexual harassment. He sent KFOR his official resignation letter, which stated, “Although, I deny the allegations, I believe it is in the best interest of my family and myself to step down.”
The letter went on to read, “I have led the office with integrity and honor, and I have worked very hard to make sure that every tax dollar is accounted for. This is not a reflection of my office and I ask for the privacy of my family.”
Hooten said his focus now shifts to his campaign for state treasurer. Primaries will be held on June 28.
Oklahoma county district attorney David Prater intended to petition to have Hooten removed from office after sexual harassment accusations surfaced, following the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office investigation.
The office investigated alleged inappropriate remarks Hooten made to county employees.
A document from a Sheriff’s Office investigation states that two employees said Hooten held a meeting to discuss a future team-building event.
“During this meeting Mr. Hooten made several shocking statements which made the employees mentioned above very uncomfortable,” the document states.
Hooten allegedly said he was putting together a mandatory event that would be held during normal work hours, and that female employees would be drinking alcohol and gambling.
“Mr. Hooten was very cryptic in what would be taking place but informed them they would be very sore, and he hoped the alcohol would have an affect (sic) on them,” the document states.
Hooten allegedly told the employees alcohol did not affect him because he was genetically altered.
“This outlandish statement caused great concern with [redacted],” the document states. “She feared, after hearing this statement, she was being forced into a situation where sexual assault of some nature was a possibility[,] and because Mr. Hooten had threatened to fire her multiple times in the past, she could lose her job if she did not participate.”
The employee expressed concern about being expected to drink alcohol and gamble while on duty for the County Clerk’s Office.
The second employee expressed the same concerns regarding Hooten’s statements to Sheriff’s Office investigators.
District 2 County Commissioner Brian Maughan said he was surprised by the accusations against Hooten.
“It’s been exhausting and it’s an emotionally taxing situation on all the employees. I think everybody is glad that we have got some resolve now and we at least know where we’re going to go from here,” Maughan said. “We don’t find the bizarre antics or comments acceptable in the workplace. I think everybody’s been very clear about that, that these were definitely troubling comments that were made.”
Investigators learned there have been past sexual harassment allegations against Hooten, “which help to exasperate the anxiety of these employees and what would be taking place if they had to attend this function,” the document states.
The Sheriff’s Office also learned Hooten hired people to work on his political campaign and expected a former employee to continue campaign work while performing in official county capacity and receiving county pay.
The document concluded with the following:
“The actions of Mr. Hooten in the workplace are not appropriate and have caused great concern and anxiety for the affected employees. Such employees expressed their intent to be able to do their job properly without retribution or fear. Due to the ongoing inappropriateness taking place at the behest of Mr. Hooten[,] these employees feared for [their] safety and reached out to Law Enforcement for proper handling of the situation[,] which is causing them great concern.
“Mr. Hooten has created a work environment which is not conducive to normal daily operations[,] and his actions should be addressed by the appropriate body of Oklahoma County Government.”