Sen. Randy Brogdon on Monday questioned Attorney General Drew Edmondson’s motives in his effort to prosecute three participants in the 2005 Taxpayer Bill of Rights petition drive. Calling the actions of the Attorney General an embarrassment to the state, Brogdon urged Edmondson to end his “politically motivated” prosecution.
Brogdon noted that when asked by reporters whether his prosecution was politically-motivated, Edmondson stated that the indictment of the petition workers did not come from his office, but was the work of a multi-county grand jury. The Attorney General recently filed a motion to dismiss the multi-county grand jury’s indictment against the three petition activists, making a statement that a new indictment would be issued directly from the office of the Attorney General.
“Amazingly, there was no news coverage when the Attorney General quietly dismissed his once trumpeted indictment,” said Brogdon, R-Owasso. “Attorney General Edmondson needs to come clean. Is there something so wrong with his grand jury process or with the indictments themselves that he has to re-issue the indictments from his office after dismissing them from the grand jury?”
Brogdon also pointed to recent negative news coverage of the Attorney General’s prosecution against the “Oklahoma 3”. Editorials in The Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine compared Oklahoma’s justice system to that of Pakistan and North Korea, respectively.
“Drew Edmondson and this outrageous prosecution are an embarrassment to the state,” Brogdon said. “His politically motivated decision to prosecute three innocent people has cast the state in a negative light and has been criticized by publications read throughout the nation and world.”
The “Oklahoma 3” are Rick Carpenter of Tulsa, Paul Jacob of Virginia and Susan Carpenter of Michigan, president of National Voter Outreach, a petition management company. The three worked to gather signatures for a Taxpayer Bill of Rights initiative in 2005.
“This is a good time of the year for our Attorney General to reflect on what is at stake and end the persecution of three innocent people,” Brogdon stated. “This politically motivated prosecution sends a chilling message to our citizens to never buck the political system.”