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Convicted former Oklahoma senator will receive pension

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The man some referred to as the prince of darkness in Oklahoma politics has arisen once again from the ashes " and he's collecting a paycheck for it.

Former state Sen. Gene Stipe won his battle in court not to have his state pension reduced, even though he has been convicted of federal crimes involving a congressional campaign.

Stipe pleaded guilty in 2003 for essentially masterminding an illegal scheme to contribute campaign dollars into the congressional race of Walt Roberts in 1998.

Shortly after his conviction, the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System cut his pension, which was substantial since Stipe had served in the Legislature for more than 50 years.

But the Oklahoma State Supreme Court said since Stipe pleaded guilty to crime that reportedly did not violate his oath of office, he should receive his full pension of more than $7,000 per month.

Bucky, the unpaid intern for Chicken-Fried News, has wondered if crime pays.

Because of the court's ruling in the Stipe case, in this instance, the pay is going to be a lot. According to an official with the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System quoted in The Oklahoman, Stipe should receive a check for back payment of his pension while it was cut. That check could be about $344,000.

This is like a bad college basketball coach getting paid millions just to leave. Not that it happens. At least not this week.

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