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Judge asked to shut down Oklahoma City attorney handling Ersland's appeal

The Oklahoma Tax Commission has asked a judge to close down the law offices of the attorney handling former pharmacist Jerome Ersland's appeal. The attorney, Doug Friesen, said Thursday, “I'm not going anywhere.”
by Nolan Clay Published: December 7, 2012

The Oklahoma Tax Commission is asking a judge to shut down the attorney handling the appeal of convicted murderer Jerome Jay Ersland.

The attorney, Doug Friesen, of Oklahoma City, said Thursday, “I'm going to stay open. I'm not going anywhere.”

Ersland, 61, is the former pharmacist serving a life sentence for fatally shooting a wounded, unarmed robber inside the Reliable Discount Pharmacy in south Oklahoma City in 2009. Friesen is asking the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to overturn the murder conviction.

The Tax Commission claims Friesen has failed for years to send to the state taxes withheld from employees' paychecks.

He owed $179,725 in withholding tax, penalties and interest as of Aug. 30, the agency's attorneys told Oklahoma County District Judge Roger Stuart in a petition filed Tuesday.

Businesses are supposed to remit withholding taxes to the state, Tax Commission spokeswoman Paula Ross said. “It's not their money to keep.”

Friesen also has not filed all required franchise tax returns and business activity tax returns and may owe the state more, Tax Commission attorneys reported.

They are asking the judge for an order preventing Friesen's law offices “from any and all business operations.” They want the judge to keep the injunction in place until Friesen posts a bond. No hearing date has been set.

The Tax Commission also alleges Friesen failed to file personal state tax returns on income in 2003, 2005 and 2011. The agency alleges he owes $6,890 in delinquent personal income taxes.

Friesen insisted Thursday he filed all his required business and personal tax returns.

“There has just been some kind of misfiling, mishandling, whatever, of the paperwork,” he said. “I do not know why they don't have them over there. I sent them in all of the years.”

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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