ICYMI: Kevin Stitt Falsely Says He’s Stepped Down From His Company
Earlier this week, Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate Kevin Stitt falsely claimed he had stepped down from his company, Gateway Mortgage. We wondered why he would feel like he needs to mislead Oklahomans. Maybe it’s because Gateway is currently being sued by Lehman Brothers? Or maybe it’s because it was ranked as one of the 15 shadiest mortgage companies?
Read more about News9’s fact check below:
During the rally in Tulsa last week, Kevin Stitt’s wife Sarah took the stage and told the crowd her husband has left his company Gateway Mortgage.
That was news to reporters, so, we asked Stitt after the rally and this is what he had to say.
“I’ve totally stepped down from the company to focus on the governorship,” Stitt said in a post-rally interview.
Is that true? No. Stitt is still with his company and in a leadership role.
According to Gateway Mortgage’s website, Stitt stepped down as CEO August 1. But both Stitt’s campaign manager and a Gateway spokesperson said Stitt remains the company’s Chairman and owner.
The Stitt campaign made it clear there is a plan in the works to have Stitt separate completely, should he win the election, but Stitt told reporters he’d do whatever the Attorney General guides him to do about how much he can be involved in his company.
Under state ethics laws, state officers are allowed to have some stake in companies but it’s very limited. Public officials are required to recuse themselves from something that they might have a material interest in; say a governor dealing with the Federal Housing Authority who also has a stake in a mortgage company.
But those problems will likely be sorted should Stitt win.
So did Kevin Stitt leave his company? No. It’s why we’re giving his claim a rating of false.