OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Investigators believe a private detective hired by a longtime Texas political consultant placed a tracker on an Oklahoma legislator’s vehicle, according to court records.
The consultant, George C. Shipley, has been subpoenaed to appear in an Oklahoma court next week “to provide testimony,” The Oklahoman reported.
He was also ordered to bring business records on who hired him to research Republican Rep. Mark McBride, who discovered the tracking device in December.
McBride obtained records from the device’s supplier and is suing Eastridge Investigations and Asset Protection, in Oklahoma County District Court, for installing the device.
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An Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation affidavit said McBride alleges he was told a “wind group” wanted to discredit him. It said McBride was working on legislation to tax wind-energy companies.
Jeffrey Clark, president of The Wind Coalition, has called McBride reckless for making the accusation.
“I feel confident that this industry would not be a party to any kind of illegal activity,” Clark said.
The affidavit stated that the bureau is investigating the case as “a threat” against McBride. The bureau said it’s also looking into a possible violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act.
The newspaper reported Shipley, 70, has helped Democrats in Texas for decades and is known for conducting opposition research for his clients.
“Our experience working with national and regional grassroots campaigns includes the repeal of state laws, the passage of several state constitutional amendments, and the creation of an underground aquifer district,” Shipley’s company website states.