Senator John Sparks
Senate District 16
Cleveland and McClain Counties
For Immediate Release:
March 3, 2008
Sen. John Sparks
Senator Sparks Files WorldCom Settlement
Norman Senator Says 11.7 Million Should be Returned to State
John Sparks (D-Norman) said today he has filed an amendment
that would invest an $11.7 million WorldCom settlement into Oklahoma’s
ailing pension funds.
“I’ve filed this amendment because it is the responsible
thing to do for Oklahoma families. Our state retirement systems
are under-funded and lost about $66 million from the criminal misconduct
of former WorldCom officers,” Sparks said. “We should
pay the $11.7 million back to our state retirement and pension systems
to help compensate them for those monumental losses.”
He amended a public finance bill, Senate Bill 1868, authored by
Senator Mike Johnson (R-Kingfisher).
“My amendment will transfer these settlement monies to the
retirement systems and the other state agencies that were harmed
as a result of the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history,” Sparks
said. “Hard working Oklahomans should not be held hostage
by the unethical practices of wealthy corporations.”
With assets in excess of $100 billion at one point, WorldCom filed
bankruptcy in July 2002 leaving all of Oklahoma’s public pension
systems and a handful of state agencies with heavy losses.
Sparks said the Attorney General settled fraud charges with WorldCom,
which agreed to create 1,600 jobs in Oklahoma. Last year, however,
an $11.7 million settlement was reached in lieu of the jobs with
Verizon Communications, WorldCom’s successor company.
For more information contact:
Senator Sparks' Office: (405) 521-5553