Oklahoma County DA Sues Governor, Parole Board

Mar 12, 2021

Credit Oklahoma District Attorneys Council

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma County’s top prosecutor is suing Gov. Kevin Stitt and the state’s Pardon and Parole Board, alleging the board is not following state law on notifying prosecutors about commutations it is considering.

The lawsuit filed Thursday by District Attorney David Prater also alleges two board members appointed by Stitt, Kelly Doyle and Adam Luck, have a conflict of interest because of their work with released inmates.

“Such blatant disregard for statutory mandates reflects not only a deliberate course of action by defendant Board, but also impedes the District Attorney from carrying out his duty to serve as a victim’s advocate and to see that justice is carried out,” Prater wrote in the petition.

A telephone message left Friday with the Pardon and Parole Board wasn’t immediately returned. But Stitt spokeswoman Carly Atchison says the governor is proud of the board’s work and called Prater’s lawsuit a “desperate cry for publicity.”

The lawsuit comes just days after the board voted to consider a commutation request by convicted killer Julius Jones. Prater opposed Jones’ commutation request and urged the board to reject it.

Prater and other district attorneys have also expressed outrage at the board’s commutation of the sentence of Lawrence Anderson, who is accused of committing a triple murder in Chickasha weeks after his release from prison.

Stitt has ordered an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation inquiry into Anderson’s release that will investigate whether the board may have violated state law or its rules when it recommended him for a commutation.