Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board cancels special meeting

Already under investigation for possible violations of the state Open Meeting Act, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board canceled a special board meeting Tuesday to avoid potentially violating the law again.
by Randy Ellis Published: August 22, 2012
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Already under criminal investigation for possible violations of the state Open Meeting Act, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board canceled a special board meeting Tuesday to avoid potentially violating the law again.

The issue, once again, was vaguely worded agenda items.

The first item listed on the agenda for Tuesday's canceled meeting was “Discussion and Subsequent vote.”

The agenda item didn't say what was to be discussed or voted upon.

Coincidently, the second item on the agenda was to be a review of suggestions made by the governor and board members “regarding expanding openness and transparency of the Pardon and Parole Board Meetings.”

The slipup occurred less than two weeks after Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater wrote a letter informing the board that it was under criminal investigation by his office. The investigation stems from the board repeatedly recommending inmates for early release consideration during business conducted under a recurring agenda item that Prater said didn't properly inform the public what would be occurring.

Terry Jenks, director of the Pardon and Parole Board, said the board decided to reschedule the board meeting after receiving calls from The Oklahoman and one other person Monday questioning the agenda.

“We got to looking at our agenda and realized it may have been unclear, and so we decided just to be overly cautious, we'd just postpone the meeting for a couple of days and do a new notice to make sure there wasn't any ambiguity,” Jenks said.

View the Pardon and Parole Board's cancelation notice for...

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by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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