IDABEL, Okla. (AP) — A county commissioner in far southeast Oklahoma who was apparently caught on tape discussing killing reporters and lynching Black people has resigned from office, Gov. Kevin Stitt’s office confirmed Wednesday.
Stitt spokesperson Carly Atchison said the office received a handwritten resignation letter from McCurtain County Commissioner Mark Jennings. In it, Jennings says he is resigning immediately and said he planned to release a formal statement “in the near future regarding the recent events in our county.”
The threatening comments by Jennings and officials with the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office were obtained and reported by McCurtain Gazette-News. They have sparked outrage and protests in the city of Idabel.
In a post on the sheriff’s office Facebook page on Tuesday, officials did not address the recorded discussion but claimed the recording was illegally obtained.
Also on Wednesday, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation confirmed it has launched an investigation into the matter at the request of the governor.
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