OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma's top education official has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges that accuse her of illegally raising money to challenge the incumbent superintendent in the 2014 Republican primary election.
Online Oklahoma County court records show that state Superintendent Joy Hofmeister pleaded not guilty Friday during a brief appearance before Special Judge Russell Hall, who set Hofmeister's bond at $8,000 and scheduled a preliminary hearing conference in the case for Dec. 13.
Prosecutors allege Hofmeister conspired with others to funnel money from a donor corporation and two education groups into an "independent expenditure" fund that would finance a negative ad campaign against former Superintendent Janet Barresi, who was defeated in the GOP primary.
Hofmeister said in a statement that she will "vigorously defend" her integrity and reputation against the allegations.
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