A new state Ethics Commission rule should reduce abuse of the ethics system.
Under the rule, no complaints alleging ethical or campaign violations may be filed against individuals between candidate filing in April and the November general election.
In 2012, state Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, filed ethics complaints against several state lawmakers immediately prior to primary elections. The accused didn’t have an opportunity to refute his claims before voters cast ballots. After the election, the Ethics Commission tossed all the complaints. Among those targeted was an incumbent state senator facing a primary challenge from a candidate Reynolds supported.
While not naming Reynolds, Ethics Commissioner Karen Long noted complaints were filed during the last election season “to embarrass and humiliate somebody else for no good reason.”
The commission deserves praise for working to ensure the ethics process isn’t used for unethical purposes.