State Sen. Clark Jolley has been removed as a defendant in a libel lawsuit filed by his primary election opponent and he said the Ethics Commission has cleared him of two complaints.
Jolley, R-Edmond, defeated Paul Blair in the June 26 primary election. He faces Richard Prawdzienski in the November general election.
Blair filed a lawsuit against Jolley and the political action committee the Coalition for Oklahoma's Future Inc. The coalition paid for ads that said Blair had violated state tax laws.
Blair said the ads were intentionally and maliciously false.
“I appreciate Paul's decision to dismiss me from the lawsuit,” Jolley said. “It allows us to move on towards the future without this litigation pending.”
Jolley said he received a letter from the Ethics Commission notifying him that two complaints against him had been dropped.
Marilyn Hughes, executive director of the Ethics Commission, said complaints of ethics violations are not public record unless the commission issues a reprimand, reaches a settlement agreement or files a case in district court. She could neither confirm nor deny that there had been any complaints against Jolley.
Bob Donohoo, of Edmond, said he filed a complaint against Jolley questioning whether his campaign finances were in order, and Rep. Mike Reynolds said he filed ethics complaints against seven candidates, including Jolley. He alleged Jolley had accepted more than the $5,000 limit from a political action committee.
“I'm very happy that the Ethics Commission handled this appropriately, quickly and confidentially,” Jolley said in a statement.
“The public dissemination of the charges by people who opposed my re-election effort was purposefully done to damage my reputation before an election.”
Jolley said he would be willing to file legislation next session that would enable the Ethics Commission to enforce a “blackout” period before elections where people could not discuss complaints they have filed.