Oklahoma parole board members appear in court
Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board members accused of violating the state's Open Meetings law, turned themselves in Thursday and are free on $5,000 bail each. They were fingerprinted and photographed at the Oklahoma County jail.
The five members of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board saw the justice system Thursday from the other side — as criminal defendants.
In alphabetical order, they were fingerprinted and photographed at the Oklahoma County jail after turning themselves in Thursday. Four smiled for their jail photographs, commonly known as mug shots.
Videoview all videos
Mar 14All five members of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board...
Jan 31Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater alleges...
Photoview all 27 photos
NewsOK Related Articles
Later, at the Oklahoma County Courthouse, they took turns standing before a judge to get their next court date. They were told to return at 8 a.m. April 18.
“We only take a not guilty plea at this stage,” Special Judge Russell Hall said. “It's printed on the form.”
Each remains free on $5,000 bail while awaiting trial.
The five were charged Wednesday with misdemeanor violations of the state Open Meeting Act.
Charged with 10 misdemeanor counts are board Chairman Marc Dreyer, 66, and board members Currie Ballard, 54, Richard L. Dugger, 74, and Lynnell Harkins, 73.
Charged with nine misdemeanor counts is board member David E. Moore, 65.
“All of them are distressed, of course, but everyone believes they didn't violate the law,” said Dugger's attorney, John Coyle.
Still on the job
All plan to be present next week for March's regularly scheduled parole board meeting, the attorney said. Their paid positions are part-time.
“They're going to do what they've always done. It's their job,” Coyle said. “Every single one of them has worked very hard and conscientiously to help the state.”
The attorney described Dugger, a former district attorney, as being “sick about this.” Dugger's wife came with him to the jail and to court.
Ballard arrived first at the jail, with a friend from church. He waited about an hour until the others arrived, and they then all went through the booking process together.
“Prayer is in everything I do,” Ballard told The Oklahoman.
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 17917Oklahoma medical examiner reports cause of deaths in Grand Lake boat crash
- 11872Oklahoma State football: Todd Monken thinks Wes Lunt should've stayed in Stillwater
- 10569OKC Thunder: Thunder trio praise fans before potential departures
- 10552Oklahoma City Thunder: Amnesty Kendrick Perkins?
- 10275Rockets guard Patrick Beverley bombarded with hateful Tweets after Thunder get eliminated
- 9958Oklahoma football: Sooners get pair of commitments
- 9874Report: OSU blocking Wes Lunt from transferring to the SEC, Big 12 and Southern Miss