Former Mayor Coats Devoting Time to Family, Law Practice

By Ray, Tim | THE JOURNAL RECORD, April 23, 1987 | Go to article overview
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Former Mayor Coats Devoting Time to Family, Law Practice


Former mayor Andy Coats, who decided not to run for re-election so he could devote more time to his family and law practice, is doing just that.

Coats turned over mayoral duties to Ron Norick last week and has taken over as president of the law firm Crowe & Dunlevy, succeeding Robert M. Johnson, another partner in the firm.

The members of the firm elect a president each year, and each president usually serves about two years, Coats explained.

"I plan to practice law full time now," he said, "and I plan to play some golf and spend some time with my family - and try to avoid as many banquets and ribbon-cuttings as possible."

Coats became an attorney with Crowe & Dunlevy in 1963 and worked there until 1976, when he became district attorney. He returned to Crowe & Dunlevy in 1980, practicing fulltime until he was elected mayor and was forced to devote less time to his law practice.

As a trial lawyer, Coats has been involved in the landmark National Collegiate Athletic Association television antitrust case and in prosecution of Roger Dale Stafford in the Sirloin Stockade murders case.

When Coats decided not to run for re-election, a rumor surfaced that he might be recruited by Crowe & Dunlevy partner Lawrence E. "Ed" Walsh, special prosecutor in the Iran-Contra affair, as chief of staff in the investigation.

Coats said the timing for selection of a chief of staff for the prosecution turned out to be bad for him because he was trying to finish up his duties as mayor. But he also said he may go to Washington, D.C., to do some actual courtroom prosecutions if any indictments are returned.

Richard C. Ford, another partner in Crowe & Dunlevy, took the position as chief of staff for the prosecution.

"I very much enjoyed being the mayor most of the time," Coats said. "Obviously I had a very difficult four years, because of the economy here, which probably was at its worst since the Great Depression.

"We did a lot of firsts for the city. I feel the city and city government is in much better shape than when I came into office four years ago. I think some of the major good things have been accomplished.". .

Norick Names Committees, Appointees New Mayor Ron Norick, who last week dissolved all mayor-appointed committees, named his new committees at this week's Oklahoma City Council meeting.

The committees and members are as follows:

- Finance and Audit Committee - Chairman is Norick, and all of the council members are on the committee. In addition to reviewing the preparation of the city's operating budget and developing fiscal policies, the committee also is charged with setting policies and schedules for audit of the city's financial records.

- Aviation Committee - Members are Ward 1 Councilman I.G. Purser, Ward 3 Councilman Jack Cornett and Ward 5 Councilman Jim Scott. The committee will work with the Oklahoma City Airport Trust to develop long-range plans for the city's airports.

- Economic Development Committee - Members are Ward 2 Councilman Mark Schwartz, Cornett and Scott. The committee will work with the Mayor's Small Business Advisory Board, local chambers of commerce and with business and community groups to develop a economic development policy for the city, Norick said. The also would "coordinate policy responses to any economic development initiatives" facing the city.

- Downtown Redevelopment Committee - Members are Ward 4 Councilman Pete White, Ward 7 Councilman Goree James and Ward 8 Councilwoman Jackie Carey. The committee was named to develop a policy on redevelopment of downtown and to implement the plan following council approval.

- Judiciaryaw Enforcement/Council Appointees Committee - Members are Purser, Schwartz and White. The committee will be charged with coordinating the council's activities with council appointees, developing an annual evaluation process for council appointees and serving as a search committee when vacancies occur in council-appointed positions.

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