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Jury trial for Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board members set for Nov. 18

Five board members are accused of violating the Open Meeting Act when they first voted on early release requests.
by Nolan Clay Published: June 27, 2013
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A jury trial has been scheduled for Nov. 18 for the five Pardon and Parole Board members.

All five are accused of violating the Open Meeting Act when they first voted on early release requests.

The board acted in a way “designed to hide potentially unpopular actions ... from the citizens it serves,” Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said in a news release after filing the charges in March.

Charged with 10 misdemeanor counts are board Chairman Marc Dreyer and board members Currie Ballard, Richard Dugger and Lynnell Harkins. Charged with nine misdemeanor counts is board member David Moore.

They have denied that they ever knowingly or willfully violated the law.

Defense attorneys are asking Special Judge Roma McElwee to dismiss the cases or disqualify Prater from prosecuting them. The district attorney is contesting the requests.

Defense attorneys contend Prater is prosecuting the board members because he was angry over their decision to consider early release for Maelene Chambers, a woman convicted of first-degree manslaughter in a drunken-driving death.

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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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