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Oklahoma Ethics Commission proposes blackout period on complaints

Oklahoma legislators will be asked to consider a rule that would prohibit complaints being filed against candidates from the April filing period to the November general election. The Oklahoma Ethics Commission recommended the rule on Friday.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: January 11, 2013 at 10:04 pm •  Published: January 12, 2013

All the complaints filed against candidates in the days before the June primary were dismissed, but not until three days after the election.

The panel dismissed the seven complaints because no ethics violations occurred. They all involved alleged errors in campaign reports.

Commissioners also approved a proposal that would allow legislators and statewide elected officials to print and distribute newsletters at public expense up to 30 days after the end of the legislative session, which occurs in late May.

Information must relate to the legislator's or official's official duties, and it must not be designed to influence election results.

A proposal that would have allowed the commission to provide information from an investigation on a candidate to the contender's employer or licensing authority was withdrawn.

Commission Chairman Jo Pettigrew said the proposal made the Ethics Commission look like a “tattletale” to employers.