House Speaker-elect T.W. Shannon paid a traffic ticket Thursday, more than nine years after it was issued and just hours after word of the citation circulated at the state Capitol.
Shannon, R-Lawton, received a traffic citation in 2003 for driving with a suspended license in Grady County, according to court records. A bench warrant was issued in 2003 when Shannon failed to take care of the matter.
Shannon, elected to the House in 2006 and expected to be elected speaker by the full House next month, paid $290 in fines and fees Thursday, and the bench warrant was dropped. Word of Shannon's outstanding warrant began circulating in the Capitol shortly after the speaker-elect announced chairmen and vice chairmen for committees in the Republican-controlled House.
“This was news to me,” Shannon said in a statement. “I've had a valid driver's license for over a decade, and I thought I had paid all fines associated with these traffic tickets. As soon as I learned there was still an issue after all these years, I immediately paid the fine and took care of the matter.”
Shannon, 34, said he checked into his traffic record Thursday after receiving media inquires.
Shannon's traffic woes began Oct. 10, 2002, when he was cited for speeding. Shannon didn't meet the deadline to pay the fine, which resulted in his driver's license being suspended Feb. 5, 2003. Shannon said he paid the outstanding ticket a week later, but unknown to him his driver's license remained suspended.
On March 6, 2003, Shannon was cited for speeding in Grady County and driving with a suspended license. Shannon said that was the first time he became aware his license had been suspended. He went the next day to get his driver's license reinstated. He said he has had a valid driver's license since.
However, the 2003 citation given to Shannon on March 6, 2003, for driving with a suspended license, was never paid.
Shannon said state Public Safety Department records didn't show any suspension of his license as a result of the 2003 citation.
“I have periodically checked on my driving record with DPS, but this has never shown up, and in fact, they still don't have a record of it today,” Shannon said.