Sometimes, it pays to keep one's mouth shut. Especially when you've been convicted of posing as a federal official. Don't call the Russian embassy and say you are working to assassinate President Vladimir Putin.
William James Clark is alleged to have done just that, according to The Associated Press. Clark, who was convicted for his role during the Webbers Falls bridge collapse in 2002, for lying to federal rescue officials by claiming he was an Army captain, apparently told the Russkies that he and others were planning to eliminate the premier (who is a former KGB agent, who headed the secret service network's successor, by the way).
In an affidavit, the FBI claimed that Clark called the Russian Embassy in the United States on Oct. 25 and told them he was part of a military plot to assassinate Putin, AP reported. The story also said Clark knew he was making the story up " but believed it when he called the embassy.
The account became more elaborate in The Oklahoman. According to that newspaper's story, Clark, who works at a bingo hall, said he watched his fellow co-workers through a vent, discussing the assassination of Putin. The account said they discussed the matter in conversations that then seemed "so real," because they wished to remove the Russian mafia's influence from the gaming industry.
According to the story, the Russians wished to meet with Clark.
Alas, it was not to be. According to the article, a federal warrant was issued last week for the arrest of Clark, because authorities claim he violated the terms of his probation by calling the embassy with the story.
For his part, the Oke reported, Clark said he has identified himself falsely as a member of the military for a long time but has not served in any of the branches. He spoke fondly of the Interstate 40 bridge collapse, in which he dressed in Army fatigues and ordered rescue personnel and law enforcement officials around, but then disappeared when they became suspicious, according to the story.
Clark remembered shaking hands with Gov. Brad Henry, the newspaper reported.
Clark told FBI officials that he doesn't want to return to prison because he wouldn't get proper mental health treatment in prison (and he's getting it now?). As he was booked into the Oklahoma County Jail, Clark asked for a psychiatrist, the Oke noted.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly West ruled the man's statements to police raised suspicion about his mental health, and ordered a competency hearing, according to the story.