Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Attorney Withdraws Petition Questioning State Ethics Act

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Attorney Withdraws Petition Questioning State Ethics Act

Article excerpt

Enid attorney Craig Dodd has temporarily withdrawn his petition for a declaratory judgment on the constitutionality of the secrecy provision of the Oklahoma Ethics Act.

Dodd said the motion would be refiled after the Nov. 4 general election between Democrat David Walters and Republican Henry Bellmon.

District Judge Joe Cannon was scheduled to conducted a hearing Friday night on whether Dodd should be granted legal standing to pursue his petition challenging the secrecy provision of the ethics law.

Dodd contends his free speech and due process rights have been denied in the loan case David Walters as a result of the confidentiality law. Dodd had filed a complaint with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission about four loans Walters took out before the Democratic primary election.

The commission voted to send the complaint to the district attorney for action, but Walters' attorneys filed a petition with the district court.

A three-judge panel in Oklahoma County District Court on Tuesday threw out the complaint against Walters, saying Walters did nothing illegal in borrowing the $162,500 from friends to put into his campaign.

The judge also ruled unconstitutional a section of the law dealing with the procedures of the ethics commission.

Dodd said he had two reasons withdrawing his motion.

""I wanted to withdraw it to put aside any question that it was a political action. There were no politics involved whatsoever. Also, these are very important legal issues to everyone involved, andit should not be resolved in a carnival atmosphere on a Friday night.

""It should require serious judicial scrutiny in a calm and relaxed atmosphere. …

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