Senator Clark Jolley, REdmond, today announced that he has requested an Attorney Generals opinion on the legality of Oklahoma legislators to have discussions with, hear testimony from and receive contributions from parties which are suing the Oklahoma Legislature.
With the current litigation from the Oklahoma Education Association against the Oklahoma Legislature, I feel it is imperative that the members of the Senate and House refuse to harm our case by having any discussion which may be introduced as evidence in a lawsuit. I would also urge legislators to promote the integrity of the Senate and House by refusing to accept contributions from PACs controlled by members of the OEA, said Jolley.
The OEA filed a lawsuit against the Oklahoma Senate and House of Representatives demanding a district judge to order the State Legislature to appropriate four billion dollars in funding to Oklahoma school district administrations for spending at the local level.
I am very concerned that any statement made to members of the Oklahoma Education Associations employees and representatives could be introduced as evidence in the upcoming trial, explained Jolley, an attorney. I am also concerned that the allowance of testimony regarding bills by members of the OEA could cause some members to respond during debate, which also could be allowed as evidence.
In addition to concerns about discussions potentially being used against the Legislature in court, Jolley said he had ethical concerns about members accepting contributions from OEA while litigation is pending.
When a Senator or Representative accepts a contribution from someone who is suing his or her fellow members, it does nothing but harm the credibility of any vote we may have to take in response to such a lawsuit. While I trust the integrity of my colleagues, I feel we must avoid any appearance of impropriety and refuse any donations from the OEA Political Action Committee while they are suing our State Legislature for specific actions.