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Windstream Settles Bribery, Conspiracy Charges in Oklahoma
Pays $100,000 For Accusations of Bribing School Official
by Karl Bode 08:44AM Thursday Dec 20 2012
Windstream Communications has settled charges with the state of Oklahoma over allegations that the company bribed a state school superintendent in order to keep a business deal in place. Back in August Windstream was indicted for giving a school superintendent two all-session tickets to the 2007 NCAA basketball tournament in Atlanta, in addition to paying for his lodging and local entertainment needs.

This week Windstream announced they've settled with the state to dismiss those charges, though their announcement omits the fact they'll be paying a local school foundation $100,000 as part of the settlement.

"We are pleased to reach an agreement with the state of Oklahoma to dismiss these charges," said John Fletcher, executive vice president and general counsel for Windstream. "We have denied the charges from the beginning and cooperated fully with the investigation. As always, our focus remains on conducting our business with integrity."

Those familiar with telecom lobbying know that larger companies (especially AT&T, Verizon and Comcast) do significantly worse on the state and federal level daily with no repercussions whatsoever.

topics flat nest 


Houston, TX

Legislating sales

Sounds like the AT$T model to me. Spend money on "Legislating" sales as opposed to actually creating a quality product that people "want" (as opposed to "having" to have their service because of a monopoly).

AT$T learned nothing from their partnership with Apple.


Re: Legislating sales

AT&T's model is established and protected. Try entering the market with insufficient funds and failing to pay off the right people, and you face repercussion. The lesson of the day is be sure to bribe enough folks to get away with your crime. AT&T and other carriers legislate better than providing a product.



$100,000? That's probably $99,999 more than what they spent to maintain their piece of $hit network over the last 5 years.

Saint Matthews, SC


lol you got that right...

Tavistock NJ

Moral vs Legal

Those familiar with telecom lobbying know that larger companies (especially AT&T, Verizon and Comcast) do significantly worse on the state and federal level daily with no repercussions whatsoever.
What Windstream did is illegal and immoral. What AT&T and Verizon and Comcast does is merely immoral. I guess hiring those big time Ivy League Law School graduates is worth the money when they allow you to buy what you want but do it legally.

Buying pols thru campaign contributions is legal. Buying a purchasing agent for a school district to get a contract isn't.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.

Merry Christmas »

Bill Neilson
Arlington, VA

Yes, nothing says business integrity like

paying $100,000 in a bribery case.

Santa Monica, CA

Morals much?

None of this would have happened if the Superintendent didn't let it.

So what happened?
Was he tried and convicted and sent to the Big House?
Or was he allowed to go free?
Will he lose his public benefits and pension?

Tampa Bay
·Verizon FiOS
·Bright House Net..

No Surprise

I have direct contact with Windstream at $DAYJOB and quite honestly I don't know how they stay in business. Pricing is awful, our service has been the pure definition of awful, and we are counting the minutes until our last contract expires. (our predecessors put the last 36 month contract in place, not us)

In my experience, their sales model is to lock you in to long term contracts AND co-mingle services to keep the true price well hidden. And if you make ANY changes whatsoever, they force you to start over with a new 36 month contract.

In our case, we had 7 locations under a 36 month contract. About 24 months elapsed, we asked them for a quote on a phone system. Hardware, not network related. But instead of giving us a quote on just the phone hardware, they presented a brand new 36 month contract which took the existing voice & data contract (still with 12 months to go) and started it all over at 36 months along with the phone hardware. The buried the "true cost" of the phone system because they used the voice and data services to subsidize the hardware.

On the surfact it "looked" like a good deal-- until we did actual comparisons. The $7,000 month data service 2 years ago can be had for $5,000 today. But they tried to renew the contract at $7,000 and used the extra $72,000 overcharge (36 months @ $2,000 overcharge) to reduce the line item for phone hardware.

So it "looked" like we were going to "maintain the status quo" on the circuits and get a TERRIFIC deal on the phone system.

In reality, they were trying to WAY overcharge us. We told them where to stick their contract, and went to another vendor for phone equipment.

All but one Windstream contract is now expired, and we'll be totally rid of them in a few weeks. I hate them. Management hates them. The whole I.T. department hates them.

Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Tulsa, OK

Re: No Surprise

They stay in business due to lack of competition.

They have areas that have no cable or Telephone competition and the people have little options.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini