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Suit Seeks Removal Of Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A lawsuit seeking to remove one of the state’s three Corporation Commissioners alleges that his being on the board violates the Oklahoma Constitution due to a business conflict of interest.

The suit, filed by former Republican state Rep. Mike Reynolds of Oklahoma City on June 30, claims that Corporation Commissioner Todd Hiett’s service on the board of SpiritBank presents a conflict, according to the Tulsa World.

“My interpretation and most peoples’ interpretation of the (Oklahoma) Constitution finds Commissioner Hiett in violation of the constitution not just because he serves on the SpiritBank board but the activities SpiritBank undertakes that come before the Corporation Commission,” Reynolds said.

The remedy is to resign, he said.

Hiett called the suit “frivolous,” and said he hired an attorney to make sure none of his personal business dealings would be a conflict with his service on commission. Hiett, who also is a Republican, has until July 20 to reply to Reynolds’ requests to take up the case.

The Article V, Section 21 of the Oklahoma Constitution says the legislature shall enact laws prohibiting members of the legislature from engaging in activities or having interests that conflict with the proper discharge of their duties and responsibilities.

Hiett began serving on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission in 2015 and has been chairman for the last two years. His current term ends Jan. 11, 2027.

The commissioners, who are elected, regulate a wide range of industries, including oil and gas production, pipelines, public utilities and telecommunications companies, and rail and motor carriers.

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