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Oklahoma County District Attorney makes new allegation about Oklahoma parole board

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said board members changed votes in violation of the Open Meeting Act. The new allegation is in a confidential email obtained by The Oklahoman.
by Nolan Clay Published: February 4, 2013

“Everything will be laid out in a public document at a later date,” Prater said Monday.

A violation of the Open Meeting Act is a misdemeanor. The maximum punishment is a $500 fine and a year in jail.

A tough stance

Prater's two Jan. 29 emails show he took a position of take it or leave it on his deal offer.

“With all due respect to you, Mack, I will not negotiate further with your clients. This matter needs to be resolved as soon as possible, by agreement or through the criminal justice process,” he wrote in his second email.

The prosecutor refused to give the defense attorney a further outline of his allegations. He wrote the board members needed to review his August letter if they had any questions.

In his first email, Prater wrote, “If an acceptance of my offer by your clients is not communicated by Friday, I will proceed with filing criminal charges. I will not extend my offer beyond Friday, February 1st. I understand that you are extremely busy, but this matter has taken far too long to resolve. I believe it in everyone's best interests to have this inked by the beginning of the legislative session.”

Prater told The Oklahoman on Monday he wanted to get the resignation agreements finalized so it wouldn't be mired in the politics of the coming legislative session.

Martin declined to comment on the new allegation mentioned in Prater's email. The defense attorney did say he was astonished that someone disclosed the confidential emails to The Oklahoman.

Governor supports board

Meanwhile, Gov. Mary Fallin continues to support board members.

The governor believes they “are well-intentioned public servants who deserve to be treated with respect,” a spokesman said.

“The governor has made it clear in the past that the board needed to pursue reforms aimed at improving transparency. The board has done that, and is currently overhauling its website to further improve the public's ability to track its activities,” the spokesman said. “She expects board members to continue to improve services and to operate in the most transparent and accountable way possible.”

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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