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PDF Preferential Treatment and Other Oklahoma Stories

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The bill was vetoed by Gov. Brad Henry when he became aware of the inserted language. The deal resulted in a bribery charge against the two lawmakers who allegedly arranged the deal, Rep. Randy Terrill and Sen. Debbe Leftwich; the case is still pending. Both have pleaded not guilty. However detailed budgetary allocations to agencies often are not available because lawmakers tend to give agencies lump sums and let them determine how to spend the funds.

5 TRUE Oklahoma Ghost Stories

Figure it out. Judges and the panel that disciplines them are excluded from the definition of public bodies in the state Open Records Act. The Council on Judicial Complaints investigates complaints against judges while the Court on the Judiciary is responsible for considering disciplinary action, including removal from the bench. The Court on the Judiciary has acted swiftly to remove the worst offenders.

My Wishlist

A district-level judge, Donald Thompson, was removed from the bench, prosecuted and convicted after complaints about his lewd behavior while on the bench. The only criticism of the system from citizens, especially journalists, is its extreme secrecy. However, Allen Smallwood, a criminal defense attorney and past president of the Oklahoma Bar Association, said he believes the level of confidentiality is appropriate. If a formal charge is made against a judge, that becomes public, Smallwood said. While citizens vote on district and state-level judges, they have little information on which to evaluate the performance of judges.

Michael Evans, administrative director of the courts, said the lack of information is a problem at election time.

A year after preferential treatment ban, little change on state’s campuses – Cronkite News

What we rely on I suppose is the appointment process. While Oklahoma has enshrined its ethics commission in the state Constitution, many state government observers say the commission has been hobbled by a lack of funding. The commission is the repository for campaign filings required by law. It also sets ethics rules for office holders and state employees and investigates violations of the rules. While the commission has levied penalties in some high-profile cases, for the most part it lacks the resources to adequately police politicians and state employees, said GOP state Rep.

Mike Reynolds. Bryan Dean, a reporter at The Oklahoman newspaper and past president of FOI Oklahoma, agreed that the commission needs more resources to do its job. Another concern: loopholes in state laws that prohibiting state officials from arranging jobs for themselves. There is only one law in Oklahoma related to private sector service by former state executive branch officials. It prohibits an official from being involved in a privatization contract and then going to work for the company that contracts with the state.

The prohibition lasts for only one year. A law that prevents former state lawmakers from going to work for state agencies for two years after leaving office has a loophole that has been exploited by several. That has allowed former lawmakers to take lucrative jobs at a power authority, the insurance commission and other agencies. Oklahoma does have laws in place to prevent state officials from receiving gifts and perks while in office, but several elected officials have flouted those laws.

He was convicted after pleading no contest to accepting bribes from a Texas businessman who was seeking preferential treatment by the agency.

Bryant ineligible for rest of season

He was convicted in Scandals like these often provoke a predictable cycle: A public outcry prompts officials to posture and promise reform. Laws are proposed, watered down in secret and by the time they pass, the next scandal has distracted the public. Governments change.

People remain the same. Show Comments. Why Oklahoma ranked 38th of 50 states.


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Introduction The story goes that the state seal of Oklahoma was smuggled out of Guthrie, the original capital, in the dark of night, hidden in some dirty laundry or possibly wrapped in brown paper. The school announced on Oct.

Prejudice and Discrimination

My mistake was not seeking advice prior to being interrogated and then turning around and not telling the truth. Bryant has sat the last four games for the Cowboys , in Big 12 , who host No. Bryant said while he waits out the appeal process he will go back to school and hopes to practice with his teammates. At the time Bryant was first ruled ineligible, a person close to the receiver told ESPN's Joe Schad that if he were unable to regain eligibility to play sometime this season, he would enter the NFL draft.

That person said that Bryant in fact would plan to leave school and begin training for the NFL draft. Bryant is projected as a first-round pick. The NCAA said in a news release that Bryant's penalty actually constituted "relief" from even more severe penalties for breaking the agency's rules for ethical conduct and preferential treatment. Bryant could have been forced to miss as few as six games or be permanently ineligible. The decision was based on whether Bryant "actively and deliberately concealed, omitted or provided inaccurate or false information" to the NCAA and whether he had multiple chances to provide accurate information but did not do so.

E-mail exchanges between an Oklahoma State compliance official and the NCAA indicate that there was concern that Bryant's meeting with Sanders was a way to connect him to an agent, something Sanders has denied. Bryant claimed in a letter of apology to the NCAA that he jogged briefly with Sanders at a Texas athletics center without breaking a sweat and then went to Sanders' house for dinner but did not eat.

Oklahoma State said in its reinstatement request that it would classify the meeting as a violation of NCAA rules prohibiting preferential treatment. Bryant caught 87 passes for 1, yards and 19 touchdowns last season while also scoring twice on punt returns. This season, Bryant led the team with 17 catches for yards and four touchdowns through OSU's first three games. Bryant sent a letter with his initial application for reinstatement, asking to play again this season and that his "punishment is not so bad that I do not get to play football again at OSU. Bryant had not commented publicly since the university ruled him ineligible because he "failed to openly disclose to the NCAA the full details of his interaction with a former NFL player not affiliated with OSU.