OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Newly emerged court documents now show how a controversial Oklahoma House of Representatives candidate’s own divorce led to his firing by the state.
The candidate, Scott Esk, has been on record saying people would be in the right to stone homosexuals, though he later told KFOR that if elected, he would not try to make homosexuality a capital offense. He also wants to make divorces harder to get in Oklahoma.
Court documents from a 2012 Department of Public Safety Investigation found Esk harassed his pastor and an elder of 84th Street Church of Christ in Oklahoma City. Records show it stemmed from a divorce in 2007, after the marriage ended “because of his physical and emotional abuse towards her and the boys.”
According to a 2016 court order from the Court of Civil Appeals of the State of Oklahoma, while trying to get standard visitation with his kids, Esk allegedly told the judge “I respectfully declare that there’s nothing I did that should have led to what they did wrong. I was deprived of my God-given right to apply corporal discipline to my children.”
The court replied, “So we are here because you haven’t had an opportunity to spank your boys enough. Is that what you’re telling me?”
Esk replied, “I think that’s a big factor, sir.”
The 2012 document said, “While Appellant acknowledged certain actions he took towards his wife and sons, he would not admit that they were abusive actions.”
The same document shows Esk’s wife allegedly blamed the divorce on not just abuse, but adultery and the pastor agreed. Esk denied that, and then “set out on a mission to get them to ‘repent’ of their part in this ‘sin’ of a divorce” and to “have them removed as church members.” The documents said Esk then “left angry messages and sent e-mails accusing them of interfering with his marriage, and calling for them to repent and leave the church. [Esk] began a crusade of weekly e-mails replete with accusations against [the pastor]. He sent these e-mails to Churches of Christ throughout the country and the Philippines, where Pastor Osborne often conducts business.”
According to the documents, a church elder complained Esk rode his bicycle by his home, shouting “‘Repent!’”
Another church member testified that Esk would “like to show [the pastor] how good I am with a firearm,” that he would “show him what violence really is,” and that he “would like to put [the pastor] in a body bag.”
Esk was banned from the church, while his wife and the pastor filed Victim Protection Orders against him.
The document said Esk did “not deny making the statements alleged, but denies that they were threatening.” The self-described libertarian claimed “that his speech is protected by the First Amendment.” However, the judge disagreed and said, “Speech which threatens the life of another individual is not protected. It is also not a joke.”
Esk also argued “that he should not have been discharged since he did not actually harm anyone, the criminal charges were dropped, and his behavior had no effect on his work.” The administrative law disagreed, claiming quote, “To have an employee who so willfully ignores the law and threatens the safety of the public is, at best, an embarrassment to the Department of Public Safety.”
According to his website, for his run for House District 87, changing divorce laws is one of his goals.
News 4 asked Esk to talk to us on camera, but he declined. Instead, like our previous story, he directed us to a YouTube video we can’t legally show. However, in the video, the candidate said, “One of the things I want to do as your state representative is abolish, either right away or through steps, no-fault divorce. So that children will be able to grow up in two-parent homes, and those who are getting married will know from the get go that they are to remain in their marriage ’til death do they part.”
News 4 asked the pastor of the church to comment, but he said the public records are enough to “cause anyone to assess his character and qualifications.”
KFOR also reached out to Esk’s opponent for HD87, Gloria Banister, who said “the court records are public documents, and they speak for themselves. There’s really nothing for me to add.”