OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Days before a runoff election, EPIC Charter Schools sent an email to parents that says Senator Ron Sharp is calling election fraud.
EPIC says the email was just a message to parents that it had no part in trying to influence the election, but Sharp says the email was retribution after losing a lawsuit against him and being fined $500,000.
“That is suppression of votes. They’re trying to suppress the number of people who may turn out to vote for me,” Sharp told News 4. “Clearly as a public entity receiving public funds. That is their objective.”
This is the email EPIC Charter Schools sent to parents over the weekend.
Sharp says the email started out fine, and he has no problem with EPIC encouraging people to vote, but as soon as he was mentioned by name and called “dishonest” EPIC crossed the line.
“Why would they now, the day before the election, be issuing a letter an email to each parent trying to manipulate the election,” Sharp asked? “You can’t do that.”
After initially agreeing to an interview with News 4, EPIC Charter Schools changed its mind and instead sent News 4 this statement.
“Mr. Sharp claims EPIC has made calls to try to negatively influence his election, and that is simply untrue. His troubles are of his own making. We felt it necessary to set the record straight with our parents.”
It should be noted in the email that was supposed to be setting the record straight with parents, no mention was made about the allegations of improper phone calls.
Sharp says he’s not buying EPIC’s excuse.
“Then when they go out of their way to say Ron Sharp is dishonest, then vote, they are 501C3,” Sharp said. “Under federal IRS guidelines, they can not be participating in elections what so ever.”
We reached out to the Attorney General’s office to ask if this was a case of election fraud.
The AG told News 4 they referred Sharp to the Ethics Commission because all matters of campaign law fall under their jurisdiction.
Sharp says he plans to file an ethics violation against EPIC after the election.