Grand Jury Unseals Indictments Against Oklahoma’s Fisher

February 18, 2004

Four grand jury indictments unsealed by the Oklahoma County District Court on Feb. 17 accuse Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher mishandling continuing education funds and operating his charity illegally, according to The Oklahoman.

Opal Ellis, his special assistant, reportedly has been accused of embezzling the education funds and profits from vending machine.

Money that should have been placed with the state treasurer—fees collected from insurance agents for required continuing education—were allegedly deposited into private bank accounts by Fisher and Ellis. Ellis is reported to have spent some of the money for personal use, in addition to purchasing an expensive gift for Fisher.

Fisher’s charity, the Fisher Foundation, which was apparently unregistered, is also charged in one of the indictments. It was supposedly established to collect money to buy shoes for underprivileged children.

Not only are Fisher and Ellis accused of failing to register the charity, they allegedly did not report contributions nor did they keep written receipts. After being investigated earlier this year, Fisher released an audit showing the charity had raised $54,129 as of May 31. However, no shoes have been purchased.

First elected insurance commissioner in 1998, Fisher is now running as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate.

Ellis and Fisher denied the charges, according to The Oklahoman.

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