Hofmeister Responds to Charges

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Remarks at a news conference Thursday from Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister, in response to the filing of criminal charges against her and others in Oklahoma County District Court:

“Thank you for your patience, first of all. I did not expect to be here this afternoon in this way. So thank you for coming today.

“I hope you understand that due to the legal nature of this issue, I won’t be able to answer questions at this time. But I felt it was important for Oklahomans to hear directly from me that I will vigorously defend my integrity and reputation against any suggestion of wrongdoing. And I will fight these allegations that have been made against me.

“Three years ago, I made the decision to enter the world of politics for the very first time. Because as a mother, state board member and a small business owner, I saw the need in our state’s public education system for leadership focused on improving opportunities for Oklahoma’s children. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. At the onset of my campaign, I made a commitment to myself, and my supporters, that as a candidate and public servant, I would reflect certain values, including transparency, trustworthiness and, above all, integrity. I am confident that my actions throughout my campaign more than two years ago were consistent with these values and in compliance with the law.

“Today, I ask of my team at the state Department of Education, including our board, the Oklahoma Education community, those who supported my campaign, Oklahomans, my family and friends, to believe in me. And to know that the person they’ve seen work so effectively and with the highest standards to make education better is also someone who would never jeopardize that trust.

“So I will fight against these charges but I will not be distracted. The state of Oklahoma, our parents, our children, deserve my continued focus, and they will have it. We have accomplished so much in only 20 short months and there is much more to be done. I thank you for your time and support and I look forward to continuing to work to improve the educational opportunities for Oklahoma’s schoolchildren now, and for many years to come.”