UPDATE: Sexual harassment claim against Fourkiller stems from 2015

BY TRAVIS SNELL
Assistant Editor – @cp_tsnell
01/12/2017 02:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Rep. Will Fourkiller
OKLAHOMA CITY – The sexual harassment complaint against Cherokee Nation citizen and Dist. 86 Rep. Will Fourkiller, which has led to his investigation by a House of Representative committee, was lodged in April 2015, said a spokesman for House Speaker Charles McCall.

On Jan. 11, McCall spokesman Jason Sutton said a female page filed a formal complaint against Fourkiller to the House Human Resource Department in 2015. Sutton said after the complaint was filed the House general counsel met with Fourkiller to discuss it.

Fourkiller on Jan. 11 said he was made aware in 2015 that a page had indicated he had said something that made her uncomfortable and he had apologized.

“I do not know what I did or said, but whatever it was I certainly didn’t mean to do it, and I apologized,” Fourkiller said.

He added that the 2015 incident is the only one that he was made aware of by House staff.

Before learning of the 2015 complaint, Fourkiller said he knew nothing about any complaints against him.

“I haven’t a clue what this is about. I am at a loss. I have called and texted Speaker McCall about this but he has not responded yet. This has floored me. I wish that at the very least I had been notified before Representative Cockroft issued his statement. I am certainly willing to work with the committee, after I have been told what I’m suspected of having done,” he said.

The House has declined to release the complaint, citing personnel reasons. However, Sutton said there was no financial settlement in the complaint against Fourkiller.

Fourkiller joins Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, as the only two representatives under investigation by the House’s Special Investigation Committee.

In a Jan. 10 statement, Rep. Josh Cockroft, R-Wanette, who chairs the commission, said the body would investigate sexual harassment claims against Fourkiller and Kirby.

The bipartisan committee was originally charged with investigating the circumstances surrounding a settlement of a wrongful termination claim paid by the House in 2016 to a former House employee linked to Kirby.

“The Special Investigation Committee has been charged with not only investigating the settlement agreement, but – upon request by House Speaker Charles McCall and Minority Leader Scott Inman in his Dec. 23 letter to the Speaker – the Committee has also been charged with investigating any and all formal complaints filed against current House members. There have been formal complaints filed against two current lawmakers: Rep. Dan Kirby, a Republican from Tulsa, and Rep. Will Fourkiller, a Democrat from Stilwell,” Cockroft stated.

Fourkiller was first elected to the Dist. 86 seat in 2011. He was re-elected in 2013 and 2015. He also ran for principal chief of the CN in 2015, finishing third at 10.58 percent with 2,040 votes.

Cockroft said the complaints against both representatives would be thoroughly and fairly investigated, and the results of those investigations would be made public.

“In an effort to protect personal information of alleged victims and unelected witnesses, the committee will conduct its investigation in private,” Cockroft said. “However, the shared goal of all members of this investigation is to present our findings quickly and publicly so that Oklahomans can have confidence that the House of Representatives is a safe, indiscriminate place for employees to work.”
About the Author
Travis Snell has worked for the Cherokee Phoenix since 2000. He began as a staff writer, a position that allowed him to win numerous writing awards from the Native American Journalists Association, including the Richard LaCourse Award for best investigative story in 2003. He was promoted to assistant editor in 2007, ...
TRAVIS-SNELL@cherokee.org • 918-453-5358
Travis Snell has worked for the Cherokee Phoenix since 2000. He began as a staff writer, a position that allowed him to win numerous writing awards from the Native American Journalists Association, including the Richard LaCourse Award for best investigative story in 2003. He was promoted to assistant editor in 2007, ...

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