MIDWEST CITY — In a speech to Oklahoma publishers and editors Friday, Gov. Mary Fallin touted her efforts to bring openness and transparency to state government even as a judge considered whether to order her to release 31 documents she has withheld involving a 2011 decision involving Obamacare.
District Judge Barbara Swinton is expected to rule Monday on documents Fallin withheld from a massive public records release to media outlets seeking information into why she rejected a $54 million federal grant that would have paid for the creation of an online exchange, or marketplace, in Oklahoma for purchasing private health insurance.
Her general counsel claimed those pages were exempt from the state Open Records Act on the grounds of executive privilege, deliberative process privilege and attorney-client privilege.
“Of all the governors in the state of Oklahoma, I’ve released more documents than any other governor,” she said after her speech to the Oklahoma Press Association. “What we claimed is we had 31 documents that we claimed executive attorney client privilege, which has been held up in other states with other governors throughout the nation. We actually welcome a challenge to that because we think the issue needs to be resolved.
“We think it’s important that a governor be able to talk to a legal counsel to discuss important issues facing the Legislature. There’s only 31 documents we withheld. Over 100,000 have been released, more than any other governor in the state.”
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