Misty Meister was walking down a street in Lahoma, Okla., on Halloween night when she saw a group of adults wearing Ku Klux Klan robes and, she claims, burning a cross. She reported the incident—and though no charges were filed, it's making headlines because one of the people allegedly involved is the husband of Lahoma Mayor Theresa Sharp, the Enid News & Eagle reports. Authorities say a responding deputy found Cary Kent Sharp, 47, and his friends dressed in white robes (Sharp, at least, was not wearing a hood, the deputy says) and having a bonfire, though the local sheriff says no cross was actually burned. "There was no cross that burned," Mayor Sharp says. "It was held behind the fire to look like it was burning, but there was no fire. ... It was a prank gone bad." Her husband goes a bit further, calling the uproar "ridiculous, really," he says. "It was a Halloween night."
Cary Sharp felt a bit differently by the time he was interviewed by News 9; he told the station he and his friends were sitting around the bonfire drinking beer "and thought, well, my buddy, his last name is White and the subject got brung (sic) up. We just thought it'd be something to do and it's not something to do." He added, "I am embarrassed. I've shamed my family and friends and I apologize for that." His wife later bemoaned the "stupidity" to KOCO. A Facebook photo of the bonfire drew more attention to the incident, which the sheriff says displayed "bad decision-making" and "very poor judgment," but about which little could be done thanks to the First Amendment (the group did agree to take off the robes and put the fire out). Meister wasn't happy about how it was handled: "Many people and children were out for evening festivities. Unfortunately, now this is something we have to talk to our children about."