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So, about our former contributor Scott Cooper…

11:27 AM EDT on May 16, 2012

Earlier this spring, former Oklahoman and Oklahoma Gazette reporter Scott Cooper joined The Lost Ogle as our newest contributor. Scott was launching a new website called OKLegalNews.com, and in an effort to promote it, he agreed to write a political-themed column for us each Friday morning.

Overall, this was a pretty cool deal for us. It was kind of neat to have a real journalist write for our site. It was even neater that he wrote on Fridays! The only drawback was that Scott kind of had to be nice to the people he wrote about, you know, because of journalistic ethics or whatever.

Unfortunately, Scott is no longer a contributor for The Lost Ogle. Instead of sending me his column like he usually did on Thursday nights, Scott emailed this instead:

Patrick

I am very sorry but I don't have a column this week and frankly I don't think I can write any more. I have some personal issues that need my full attention now.

I greatly appreciate the opportunity you gave me with this column. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it and received so many compliments from friends, colleagues and just interested people.

I wish I didn't have to give this up but I'm afraid I have to.

Take care

Scott Cooper

Yeah, the was weird. I emailed Scott back to see if everything was okay and to make sure he didn't have advanced lymphoma or something, but he never replied back. That very same night, I then received a weird email from some goofy ex-journalist asking if I've "heard about my writer, Scott Cooper." The person wouldn't tell me what there was to hear about, but he said I would hear about it soon enough.

The goofy journalist was right. Late yesterday, the Oklahoma Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists issued the following press release. It's already been picked up by This Land and I assume will reach other outlets. Here it is:

The board of the Oklahoma Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists announced today following a special meeting Friday, May 11, that information had surfaced that showed unauthorized withdrawals had been made from the chapter’s checking account.

Scott Cooper, the chapter’s Treasurer-Secretary has resigned from the organization. Cooper also served as SPJ Region 8 director, over Oklahoma and Texas SPJ chapters.

Oklahoma Pro Chapter president M. Scott Carter said a preliminary review of the account shows more than $40,000 in unauthorized withdrawals were made.

Carter said SPJ Oklahoma Pro chapter officers continue to gather information about the incident. He said the withdrawals were discovered late in the day on May 8, when chapter leadership was notified of checks returned because of insufficient funds.

“We’re continuing to gather information,” Carter said. “Once we have finished, that information will be turned over to the proper authorities.”

Carter said the chapter’s popular annual awards contest will continue and is not in jeopardy. He said the incident was isolated and actions have been taken to protect SPJ assets.

Carter said the organization is in the process of notifying its vendors to assure them the chapter would cover any outstanding invoices.

Yeah, I guess you could consider that a personal issue. At least he wasn't caught tapping on car widows at Trosper Park, making meth in an old RV out in the country, or operating a hedge fund from within the organization. That would have been terrible.

Anyway, it goes without saying that Scott Cooper is no longer a contributor for The Lost Ogle. I haven't talked to or heard from him since his last email, but I wish him the best as he deals with his "personal issues." He has not been charged with any crime, and hopefully gets things resolved.

Also, it looks like we're looking for a new Friday political writer. If you like writing about politics and spending time in Nutsoland (a.k.a. The State Capitol), send us an email.

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