LITTLE ROCK — Windstream Corp. denied charges disclosed Thursday in a corruption indictment involving a former Oklahoma school superintendent.
The Little Rock-based telecom was named with ex-Broken Arrow, Okla., Superintendent Jim Sisney in an indictment returned by an Oklahoma grand jury in Tulsa alleging bribery and conspiracy.
Windstream is accused of providing Sisney with travel, lodging, meals, refreshments and tickets to the 2007 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Atlanta in an attempt to influence Sisney’s decision on retaining the company as the school district’s Internet provider.
The indictment accuses Sisney and Windstream employees of conspiring to fraudulently circumvent the authority of the Broken Arrow School Board and the district.
Windstream said the allegations stem from a customer event that the company hosted at the 2007 NCAA Final Four for business customers, including the Broken Arrow School District.
“We have always taken great pride in serving our customers with integrity,” John Fletcher, executive vice president and general counsel for Windstream, said in a statement. “We have cooperated fully in the investigation and will vigorously contest the charges.”
According to Oklahoma-based NewsOn6.com, the school district suspended and later fired Sisney in October 2008, citing “demeaning,” “humiliating” and “unprofessional” behavior toward staff and board members, among other reasons.