Sheriff Kevin Clardy of McCurtain County, Oklahoma, was recorded talking about murdering a local reporter and killing black people–a recording made by McCurtain Gazette newspaperman Bruce Willingham, who left his tape running to prove that public county commission meetings were being illegally continued in private. Clardy, now under investigation by the FBI, claims that he is the wronged party, that recording him was illegal, and that felony charges will be filed. From the department's Facebook page:
The last 72 hours have been amongst the most difficult and disruptive in recent memory. This is a very complex situation and one we regret having to address.
There is and has been an ongoing investigation into multiple, significant violation of the Oklahoma Security of Communications Act, Title 13, Chapters 176.3 and 176.4 which states that it is illegal to secretly record a conversation in which you are not involved and do not have the consent of at least one of the involved parties. There is a significant number of victims of this criminal activity and it has taken significant effort and time to identify them and corroborate evidence.
Many of these recordings, like the one published by media outlets on Friday, have yet to be duly authenticated or validated. Our preliminary information indicates that the media released audio recording has, in fact, been altered. The motivation for doing so remains unclear at this point. That matter is actively being investigated.
In addition to being illegally obtained, the audio does not match the "transcription" of that audio, and is not precisely consistent with what has been put into print.
No apology or explanation, just spiteful retaliatory nonsense written in Internet Lawyerese. Dumb as a bag of rocks.