Gary Jones believes he was cheated out of election as state auditor and inspector in 2002 and 2006 and filed a lawsuit that seeks damages from former Auditor & Inspector Jeff McMahan and his wife, former Senator Gene Stipe, and a host of others, including former Auditor Clifton Scott. Jones is the state Republican chairman.
Jones’ lawsuit alleges the defendants committed fraud, inflicted "intentional interference with a prospective business advantage," are guilty of the "intentional infliction of mental anguish and emotional distress," and violated federal RICO statutes.
The lawsuit was filed in Logan County. Among those listed as a defendant is the former head of McMahan’s office division that regulated abstractors, Tim Arbaugh. He and his wife operate a bed and breakfast inn in Guthrie. Documents involved in the successful prosecution of the McMahans and others indicates some meetings between the alleged "conspirators" also occurred in Logan County.
Named in the lawsuit, in addition to the McMahans, Stipe and Arbaugh: Steve Phipps, former abstract company owner also convicted in federal court in the scandal; Larry Witt; Eddie Harper, attorney who is guardian of the Gene Stipe estate; Randy Dittman; former Auditor & Inspector Clifton Scott; Phipps Enterprises; Ry-Son Oil Corp.; and Corporate Financing Group, Inc.
About the author: For 30 years, Mike McCarville has covered Oklahoma politics and government with The McCarville Report Online, located here.