A former Oklahoma senator charged with embezzling from his own campaign fund has pleaded guilty to three charges.
Former state Senator Kyle Loveless was accused last Spring of using campaign funds from his 2012 and 2016 campaigns for personal expenses and purchases. In April, he resigned amid the allegations, and this week, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater filed charges of embezzlement, filing false campaign reports, and perjury against the ex-senator.
Approximately one hour later, Loveless stood before a judge and pleaded guilty to all three charges. He told the judge, "I accept responsibility for my actions, and I am sorry for the difficulties that I have created."
Loveless admitted to taking more than $100,000 from his campaigns, illegally spending the money on "flowers, clothing and accessories, toys, household repairs, tires and automobile repairs, sporting event tickets, theater tickets, medical expenses and dental bills."
In addition to the criminal case against him, Loveless was also under investigation by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission.
In order to resolve both the criminal and ethics cases, Loveless pleaded guilty and has already repaid $112,524 in restitution to the state's general revenue fund, $40,000 to the state election board for the cost of the special election to fill his vacant seat, and $10,000 to the Ethics Commission for the cost of his investigation.
Additionally, Loveless may never again hold political office, work as a lobbyist, or hold any position paid by public funds, nor may he act as a paid political consultant.
Oklahoma County District Judge Ray C. Elliott gave Loveless a three-year suspended sentence, which means he will serve probation instead of prison time for his conviction. However, if he violates any laws during his probation, the judge can revoke the suspension and order the former senator to prison for the remainder of the term.