Political candidates with criminal backgrounds and financial problems; accusations of incompetence, laziness and fraud at the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation; and ongoing coverage of a pharmacist accused of murdering a teenager during an attempted armed robbery were among the stories readers of The
March 13-19 is Sunshine Week, a national effort to promote open government. Each year, The
Following is a summary of a few stories The
The state attorney general said nothing criminal occurred in the process of awarding the contract to manage a new juvenile center to a company that hired Atwood, but ethical questions continued, and the center was scrapped as part of budget cuts.
The checks found 25 candidates with histories worth asking about, including unpaid taxes, personal bankruptcies and an assault and battery
Such background checks would be impossible without public access to court and police
Ersland tried to defend himself, shooting the teen and chasing off the other suspect. Prosecutors claim Ersland left the store to chase the other suspect before returning and repeatedly shooting the unarmed teen robber who was lying unconscious on the floor.
Ersland and his attorneys have sought to change judges repeatedly in the case, which has delayed the trial for months.
Floyd Crawford, 66, has been arrested more than 450 times since 1989, with most of the arrests coming in the last decade on public drunkenness and trespassing complaints.
A study of homelessness in the city highlighted Crawford, estimating the cost of his care from April 1, 2009, to March 31, 2010, to be at least $160,000.
Kyle Eastridge, a longtime Oklahoma City police homicide detective, was hired by the agency as a cold case investigator but resigned less than a year later. He said the agency has allowed murder suspects — linked to crimes by DNA, witnesses and other evidence — to wander free.
The agency's interim director, Harvey Pratt, was appointed just as the stories were published. He acknowledged the OSBI had made mistakes and pledged to be more transparent about its handling of criminal cases in the future.
Staff Writer Bryan Dean is president of Freedom of Information of Oklahoma Inc., an organization which educates the public about the First Amendment and promotes open government.