Just days before the State Senate 45 primary election, former state Sen. Kyle Loveless pleaded guilty to embezzling his own campaign funds.
Loveless also pleaded guilty to filing false campaign reports with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission and to committing perjury when he certified they were correct.
He was sentenced to three years-probation Thursday and can no longer vote because it’s a felony conviction. He also agreed to never again hold any position, elected or otherwise, paid for by public funds and to never become a state lobbyist, and agreed to never act as a paid political consultant “for any state, local, county, municipal or school district campaign” in Oklahoma.
A criminal investigation into Loveless’s campaign finances started in February. The investigation first focused on whether Loveless committed perjury when he failed to report all his political actions committee (PAC) donations on his campaign reports, but Loveless began facing allegations that he embezzled campaign funds in April.
Loveless resigned April 27, just two days after his defense attorney, Mack Martin, met with Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater about the allegations.
The investigation found he embezzled more than $100,000 from his 2012 and 2016 campaigns for personal use. He has paid $112,524 to the state’s general fund in restitution for the embezzlement.
Loveless also paid $40,000 to reimburse the Oklahoma State Election Board for the cost of the special election to fill his vacant seat.
The special primary election is Tuesday and the special general election is Nov. 14.
He also had to reimburse the Oklahoma Ethics Commission $10,000 for the costs of its investigation of him.
Although the criminal investigation began in February, Loveless had been under investigation by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission about his PAC donations since November.
Loveless refused to comment on the charges Thursday evening.