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Oklahoma governor names interim secretary of state

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Thursday named Assistant Secretary of State Michelle Day to succeed Glenn Coffee. Day begins her new duties Friday.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: January 31, 2013 at 9:38 pm •  Published: February 1, 2013

Coffee, one of Fallin's top advisers, was appointed to the post after Fallin took office in January 2011. He announced his resignation in December.

Delays in search

Weintz said the Christmas holiday interrupted search efforts and the governor last month has been focusing on her budget. She will release her budget Monday as part of her State of the State speech that opens the legislative session.

Coffee is a former state senator and the first Republican in Oklahoma history to serve as a GOP leader of the Senate. An attorney, he recently bought the practice of Lee Slater, a former state Election Board secretary who was hired last month as executive director of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. Slater starts his new duties Friday.

Coffee will still be involved in state affairs.

Fallin has asked him to continue his role in talks aimed at resolving a federal lawsuit filed in 2011 by the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations to stop Oklahoma's plans to draw water from Sardis Lake in Pushmataha County and deliver it to Oklahoma City.

His hourly rate and the nature of his contract will be subject to negotiations and agreement with the state attorney general's office, Weintz said.

The state Senate plans to retain Coffee as its legal counsel, said Nate Atkins, spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa. The post had been filled by Slater.

Details with Coffee have yet to be worked out, Atkins said.

At a glance

The office of the secretary of state serves as a registry of Oklahoma's official documents, filing and certifying executive orders, appointments and proclamations as well as publishing new statutes. The secretary of state also serves on the governor's Cabinet.

Michelle Day has done an outstanding job running the daily operations of the secretary of state's office. Her appointment as secretary of state on an interim basis will ensure continuity of services in that department while we search for a permanent replacement for Glenn Coffee.”

Gov. Mary Fallin,


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