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Canadian County court clerk race is a nasty one

The race for the Canadian County court clerk's office may be one of the nastiest in the state. The challenger and incumbent butted heads long before the race began and will likely continue to do so until the June 26 primary.
by Andrew Knittle Published: June 3, 2012

The race for the Canadian County court clerk's office may be one of the nastiest in the state.

The challenger and incumbent butted heads long before the race began and likely will continue to do so until the June 26 primary.

There are lawsuits, allegations of sexual misconduct, missing campaign signs and one of the candidates recently woke up to find his car covered in “fish guts.”

Incumbent Marie Ramsey, wrapping up her first term in office, said she doesn't “even like to say his name” when speaking about Edward Kremeier, her opponent in the upcoming Republican primary elections. There are no other candidates.

“He has no experience whatsoever in running a court clerk's office,” Ramsey said. “He's running for court clerk because of a personal vendetta against me.”

Kremeier, 51, a full-time business student at the University of Central Oklahoma, said he's running for the post because of his experiences with Ramsey, who he claims skirts state law and handles sensitive, confidential documents with little care.

“This woman is dangerous,” the challenger said. “She is a liability to Canadian County and the state of Oklahoma.”

Indeed, the race to become Canadian County's court clerk for the next four years isn't a pleasant one. But more interesting, perhaps, is how it got to this point.

Protest filed

Kremeier said he first “had a run-in” with Ramsey in October 2010 when he came into the county office and asked to see a copy of his own divorce, which was sealed by a judge's order.

Because he was acting as his own attorney, he had access to the sealed document, he said.

“I was stunned and shocked that they let me see the divorce case — since it was sealed,” he said. “And the clerk who helped me ... she had never seen me before.”

Ramsey, 49, has a simple explanation, saying Kremeier had been in the office so much during that time period that “those ladies knew exactly who he was.”

“It's just common sense,” she said. “If you know somebody, you don't make them show ID every time they walk up to the counter.”

A few months later, the two would clash again when Kremeier attempted to obtain a process server license in Canadian County.

Ramsey filed an official protest because of Kremeier's behavior in the court clerk's office, she said, and because she stumbled across sexual abuse allegations in a protective order filed in Oklahoma County.

Abuse allegations

At the heart of the dispute seems to be Kremeier's desire to keep certain information surrounding his divorce cases hidden from the public. He says it's information that would violate the privacy of one of his children if made available to the public.

Kremeier has been married three times since the late 1990s, according to court records, with all three marriages ending in divorce.

Documents associated with two of the divorces are sealed and can't be viewed by the public, but a lawsuit filed by Kremeier against a marriage counselor may shed some light.

In the lawsuit, filed earlier this year in Oklahoma County, Kremeier claims the counselor “falsely reported to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services that (he) had admitted to her that he sexually molested” a young girl.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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