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From Oklahoma governor to RV salesman


Gazette staff February 22nd, 2007

David Hall is living proof no matter how far from grace you may fall, there's still a chance to ride out in glory.   For those under the age...

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David Hall is living proof no matter how far from grace you may fall, there's still a chance to ride out in glory.

 

For those under the age of 40, a quick history lesson: David Hall became governor of Oklahoma in 1970 after defeating incumbent Dewey Bartlett. He was known as a tough-on-crime politician after serving as district attorney of TulsaCounty.

 

Tough crime came back on Hall when his term was rocked by scandal. Hall was indicted on bribery charges for criminal acts committed while serving as governor and later was convicted. He served a 18-month prison term in Arizona. He now lives in California.

 

Publicly back in Oklahoma last week for the first time in three decades, Hall spoke to a group of reporters but refused to discuss his past legal troubles because he is planning on publishing a book later this year. But he did put things in perspective at a press conference.

 

"The past is the past," Hall said.

 

The former governor returned to his native state in conjunction with a new exhibit on the state's governors and first ladies at the OklahomaHistoryCenter. Hall donated volumes of material from his political days to the center.

 

The venture back to the state that had sent him to prison was a delight to Hall, as evidenced by his demeanor. He reveled in talking to reporters again and provided plenty of comedic candor. Even his wife, Jo, sitting behind the reporters, took part in the routine. When listing his mistakes, Hall paused for a moment and asked Jo what his other mistake had been while in office. Jo replied "running" for office.

 

Besides confirming the rumor he made good money selling recreational vehicles in Saudi Arabia after getting out of prison, Hall talked about his other passion of basketball and his favorite shot " a one-handed floater from 12 feet.

Hall even had a surprise for the press: He wanted a photograph taken of all the reporters, with him in the middle.

 

"I'm in the San Diego Press Club, and they will really get a hoot out of this," he said.

 

Does that sound like a former governor who served time in the joint?

 
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