An Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney said Thursday he wants an attorney general to investigate an Oklahoma County district judge so his name can be cleared.
Attorney Michael S. Johnson, 42, said he is worried about the public's perception of him since his name came up in news reports about Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure. He said he has been caught in the crossfire.
"The full story is not being told," he said.
Bass-LeSure in July gave an Edmond gym trainer the names of three attorneys. The trainer had a drug case assigned to her. The names were Johnson, Joe Brett Reynolds and Kendra Gill.
Johnson said the judge on Tuesday morning apologized to him and Gill in person.
"The judge has apologized that she mentioned my name but assures me that she did it out of her appreciation for my professionalism in the courtroom and not for any kind of improper purposes," Johnson said.
"She apologized for the misperception that she was somehow recommending us," he said. "She said... she was merely advising somebody that we are experienced attorneys and that they should contact one of us to figure out what occurs in her courtroom."
The gym trainer, who already had a defense attorney, secretly recorded a conversation with the judge July 22. The judge stepped down Tuesdayfrom a high-profile murder case against a pharmacist who is being represented by Reynolds.
Johnson on Thursday asked Attorney General Drew Edmondson in a letter to investigate whether Bass-LeSure "has been giving preferential treatment to certain lawyers in her courtroom."
He also asked the attorney general to investigate whether District Attorney David Prater has taken actions to intimidate judges or retaliate against judges who do not rule favorably for prosecutors.
He said he worries the public perception is that the attorneys on the judge's list did something wrong, like paying bribes, to get preferential treatment from her. He said he has not bribed the judge and "she has never ruled in my favor on anything."
He said he expects an attorney general investigation will find no wrongdoing by anyone.
"I hope... if no misconduct is found and that this has been a big misunderstanding... that that... will come out so the public can have confidence in their judicial system," Johnson said.
Prater said Thursday night he welcomes an attorney general investigation. The judge declined to comment.
A spokesman for the attorney general confirmed Thursday that the office had received Johnson's request.
The attorney general's office investigated Bass-LeSure a few years ago but that probe did not result in any charges, sources said.