Back on a quiet Thursday in mid-December, The Tulsa World filed a forgettable, nothing-to-see-here report on a car accident involving Oklahoma First Lady Sarah Stitt. You can read all 82-words of it here.
As you and about 26,000 of our other readers know, we got some tips about the wreck via the Ogle Mole Network, and before you could say "Imagine That!", we swooped in the following Monday and reported more details about the accident, including that the First Lady t-boned and injured another motorist while rushing through a red light in a state-owned, law enforcement-equipped SUV. We also shared photos of the accident and revealed that this wasn't the first time the First Lady had wrecked a state vehicle.
We closed the article with this:
"I guess we’ll follow this story and let you know if there are any updates. Hopefully, the real journalists who are supposed to cover this state see all this, pursue the story, and then not give us any credit when / if they report what they find. That’s usually how it works."
Well, it looks like the local media is following our advice!
Over the weekend, The Tulsa World's Barbara Hoberock – a real journalist who's a huge TLO fan – looked into Sarah Stitt's other accident, filed this report, and – of course – didn't give us any credit.
In less than a year, First Lady Sarah Stitt has crashed two state vehicles.
On Dec. 17, Sarah Stitt was driving a 2019 black Chevy Suburban when she failed to stop for a traffic signal at N.E. 36th Street and Lincoln Boulevard, according to a collision report...
The Edmond Police Department on March 6 investigated another accident involving Sarah Stitt.
She was driving a different 2019 black Chevy Suburban when she was on a private drive and attempted to travel westbound on East Second Street, according to an accident report. She failed to yield, the report indicated.
Stitt’s vehicle collided with 2017 Kia Soul with two occupants, the report said.
Both vehicles were driven from the scene with no injuries reported, according to the report.
I say this with all seriousness and sincerity, I'm glad our article inspired Barbara – and hopefully a few other of our state's remaining political reporters – to track down details of the other accident we mentioned.
We have an Ogle Mole Network that feeds us information which we vet, filter and share, but when it comes time to filing open records requests, getting agency newspeak statements, and all that other boring time-consuming traditional media stuff, we usually try to get out of the way and let the real credentialed journalists do their grunt work.
That being said, I do have some questions about this report, the main one being:
Why is the First Lady running roughshod around town, terrorizing innocent motorists, in a big state-issued SUV?
Let's be honest – her husband is a multi-millionaire mortgage banker. Shouldn't she be driving a souped-up Range Rover, Cayenne or Navigator with a custom leather booster seat so she can see over the wheel? At the very least, can't she have an OHP bodyguard haul her from soccer practice to Target to Swadley's to pick up carryout? You know, like Mary Fallin used to do?
Barbara has those details.
According to state law, the public safety commissioner shall provide personal security and protection, transportation and communications capabilities for the governor, the governor’s immediate family, and the lieutenant governor.
The law authorizes the commissioner to provide necessary communications equipment even if they are not on state property or in state vehicles...
Stewart said Stitt can drive the state vehicles while she is on state business.
If that's the law, that's the law. I don't have a problem with the First Lady driving around a state vehicle while on state business, but maybe we need to have her pass another driving test before tossing her the keys to the Suburban on a Friday night. Perhaps that explains why Kevin Stitt is so determined and eager to clear up the wait times for driver's license exams.
For some reason, the World didn't share even redacted copies of the police reports for closer inspection. It would be interesting to see which private drive in Edmond the First Lady was leaving on a Friday (Night? Morning? Afternoon?) while conducting state business in Edmond, or maybe track down the owner of the Kia to get their thoughts on what happened. Can someone else in the local media request them so we can look into it, or do we have to do it?
Also, as we mentioned in our article back in December, we're still hearing whispers in the Ogle Mole Network that there may be another accident involving the First Lady. They're strictly rumors are this point, but maybe when she's done slandering us on Twitter, Barbara can track down that info, too.
Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.