• September 1, 2014

Okray continues push for campaign ethics probe

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Posted: Friday, March 16, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:52 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Sean Wardwell

Killeen Daily Herald

Jonathan Okray, an at-large candidate for the Killeen City Council and the organizer of last year's recall election, contends a mayoral candidate has violated campaign laws.

But Okray has had some difficulties getting the Texas Ethics Commission to believe him, or, by his own admission, comprehend the legal requirements for a successful complaint.

"It's legalese. I don't understand it," said Okray, who added he has not secured an attorney to help him with the complaints, and trusts in his own ability to understand the issues.

"I believe I have the ability to understand the information the Texas Ethics Commission is requesting I conform to," he said.

Complaints

Okray has filed two complaints against Dan Corbin's mayoral campaign. The first alleged he violated Chapter 258 of the Texas Elections Code, which covers the code of fair campaign practices - a document candidates are encouraged, but not required, to sign.

His second complaint goes further, bringing up recent false Facebook pages and websites posted by Shawn Richeson, a Corbin supporter who signed an affidavit confirming his actions and his intent to collect forensic data of those behind the recall that removed five council members from office in November.

Corbin was the head of Citizens for a Prosperous Future - a group opposed to the recall effort.

Okray alleges Corbin "advantaged himself through a play on words and a scheme designed to deceive the general public."

The false Facebook page in question was titled "Killeen Tax Payers for Responsible and Accountable Government," while Okray's group is called "Killeen Taxpayers for Accountable and Responsible Governance."

Both complaints were quickly sent back to Okray by the commission, which said he failed to provide any evidence of alleged wrongdoing. Evidence is needed before the commission can consider an investigation.

Okray said he intends to file a third complaint along the same grounds, adding he will file as many times as needed to have his complaint considered.

"I intend to follow this to the end. I'll keep trying," he said, adding it wasn't personal between Corbin and himself.

"This is business in accordance with the provisions of the law. It's not personal."

Corbin said he wasn't sure what to make of the complaints.

"I don't know why (Okray) dislikes me so," he said Thursday.

Recall questions

Last year, Corbin questioned the validity of Okray's recall petition.

During a June 14 council meeting at which the recall election date was set, Corbin cited possible violations in the petition process.

Corbin, who was the attorney for former Councilman Kenny Wells, argued the recall petition process was questionable, as the city charter requires five people to supervise a petition - a requirement Okray did not meet.

"The process mandated by our city charter was not followed," Corbin said at the time.

Since City Secretary Paula Miller already had validated the petition signatures, the council voted, 3-2, to move forward with the recall election.

Corbin said Thursday he still does not understand the nature of Okray's complaints and has no intention of following his tactics.

"I will not do anything to provoke any acrimony with any council candidate because I hope to be mayor, and I need to work with those city council members who are elected," he said.

Contact Sean Wardwell at seanw@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7552. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcity.

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