OK Parole Board, Facing Open Meeting Act Charges, Was Warned in ’11


Prosecutors have evidence that Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board members were cautioned in 2011 that state law requires them to be specific on their public agendas, the Oklahoman reports. “Stop and think about what you would want to see,” Gay Tudor, then an assistant attorney general, told board members about their agendas. “People are going to want to know something about what’s coming before you.” Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater is preparing to file misdemeanor charges against all five parole board members for alleged violations of the Open Meeting Act. His chief accusation is that the board illegally took up early release requests without proper public notice.

Board members have denied wrongdoing. “These public servants come from the most distinguished backgrounds and are of the highest integrity,” the board’s defense attorney, Mack Martin, said Friday. “To accuse and prosecute them of willfully violating the Open Meeting Act is baseless and a waste of valuable resources.” Tudor spoke to the parole board for about an hour in April 2011 about how to comply with the Open Meeting Act and Open Records Act. She said she gave similar training at other state agencies over the years upon request.

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