UPDATED: Group accuses Tulsa County Court Clerk employee of Ku Klux Klan ties

Donate

Tulsa County Court Clerk Don Newberry issued a statement Wednesday morning about the employment of Bondell “Bonnie” Kukla, an employee at the Tulsa County Court Clerk’s office who is alleged to have KKK ties.

Donald Newberry.

“I do not in any way condone or believe that discrimination, based on race, religion or sex, has any place within the workspace,” Newberry wrote in an email. “At the same time, I and all that work for this office, have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, part of which is the protection of free speech. If at any time I find that someone is not performing their duty to uphold the Constitution the situation would be dealt with according to the offense.”

Stephen and Bonnie Kuklas. COURTESY/Hate Trackers
A Tulsa County Court Clerk employee has been accused of being a member of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist and Christian identity groups by an organization that tracks and exposes hate groups.

A story posted last Monday by the group Hate Trackers states that Bondell “Bonnie” Kukla and her husband Stephen Kukla, 67,of Tulsa are “white supremacists and long-time members of the Ku Klux Klan, traveling to Klan chapters throughout the South  “preaching, speaking, and entertaining through song,” as well as performances at Christian Identity Churches

The story includes video of the Kuklas singing at The National Faith and Freedom Conference (a gathering organized by the Knight’s Party, also known as the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan), and links to KKK websites that state Stephen Kukla sang “The Old Rugged Cross” during a cross burning.

The Hate Trackers story also states that Bonnie Kukla had been stationed at the Tulsa County Juvenile Court Clerk’s office, but later moved to the Tulsa County Court Clerk’s main office downtown.

Get emails from The Frontier

The duo are also mentioned in a 2012 Gawker article covering that year’s National Faith and Freedom Conference, where they performed a parody song about then-President Barack Obama.

Tulsa County Court Clerk Don Newberry confirmed Bonnie Kukla works at the office, but would not comment further on her employment situation. Newberry said there have been no incidents connected with the Hate Tracker story or Kukla that he was aware of.

“The county’s policy is we don’t discuss our personnel in the public,” Newberry said. “As far as our policies go, as a county, in the employment of our people we do not discriminate at all based on race, religion, sex. We have a very diverse workplace.”

Reached Tuesday night, Stephen Kukla said there were several inaccuracies in the Hate Tracker story, but would not specify what they were.

“We’re not interested in giving interviews to anyone whatsoever,” Stephen Kukla said. “To get into the nuts and bolts of it, I wouldn’t have any interest. I don’t want to blow this up any more than it’s already been blown up.”

A video of the Kuklas performing a parody song about former President Barack Obama, purportedly at the 2012 National Faith and Freedom Conference, organized by the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

Your financial support for our investigative journalism is now tax deductible. To become a Friend of The Frontier, click here.

Clifton Adcock

Senior Staff Writer

A veteran investigative reporter who has covered eastern Oklahoma for more than 15 years, Clifton joined The Frontier in April 2017. A native of southeastern Oklahoma, he has covered numerous issues from criminal justice to politics for publications including the Tulsa World, the Oklahoma Gazette, and Oklahoma Watch. Clifton holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. Clifton can be reached at clifton@readfrontier.com. Follow him on Twitter @cliftonhowze
Donate