An Oklahoma County judge charged with fraud wants District Attorney David Prater and his assistants removed from her case.
District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure and husband Karlos LeSure claimed in a legal motion Thursday they cannot get a fair trial if “Prater and his office continue to participate in this prosecution.”
“The facts show that … Prater has engaged in what amounts to a personal vendetta against Judge Bass-LeSure. The criminal case against Judge Bass-LeSure and her husband is the latest manifestation of this personal crusade,” her attorneys wrote.
Prater said Friday, “I'm passionate about every case we're prosecuting in this courthouse, but none of them are personal.”
About the case
Bass-LeSure was charged in January with 30 counts of making a fraudulent claim against the state and two counts of perjury.
Her husband was charged with two counts of making a fraudulent claim against the state and two counts of perjury.
The judge and her husband became foster parents to a boy and girl in 2008 then adopted them last year.
Prosecutors allege the judge and her husband secretly gave away the twins to her bailiff's sister in 2008 and lied on adoption papers to conceal it.
Prosecutors also allege the judge misused some state funds provided for the children's care.
The judge has denied wrongdoing.
Her attorneys called the fraud case “the culmination of what amounts to an ongoing dispute with the judge of a personally and politically charged nature, instigated by the district attorney.”
Ties to other case
Prater and the judge clashed during a bail hearing in 2009 for a pharmacist who was charged with murder after fatally shooting a robber.
Then, last year, Prater asked Bass-LeSure to step down as the trial judge in the pharmacist's case. Prosecutors said they had concerns she might show favoritism to the pharmacist's defense attorneys.
The judge agreed to take herself off the murder case. She explained to reporters, “I want everyone that appears before me to get a fair trial. … And I don't want anyone, anyone — rich, poor, black, white, green, Hispanic — to ever think that they can come into my courtroom and not receive a fair trial.”
Her attorneys raised five other issues in their motion that they claim require Prater's removal from her case.