Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Panel Axes Bennett Claims against Walters

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Panel Axes Bennett Claims against Walters

Article excerpt

Associated Press The Merit Protection Commission's executive director has dismissed J.B. Bennett's whistleblower petition seeking to have Gov. David Walters removed from office for engineering his firing. A similar petition against the Okla- homa Tourism Commission was left alive, however. A paper filed Tuesday by James L. Howard, the commission's executive director, said that with the assistance of Attorney General Robert Henry, it was determined that the commission had no authority to remove the governor from office. Only the specific removal methods outlined in the state constitution can be used to remove the governor, the attorney general said. A "Determination of Executive& Director" filed on Tuesday said that Bennett and his attorney were advised in a May 24 letter that the dismissal would be recommended to the executive direc- tor. Bennett and his attorney were given 14 days "to respond to the letter in writing and to provide additional infor- mation as why a recommendation of dismissal would be inappropriate," it said. That response was due by June 7. On May 28, Bennett's attorney requested an extension until Monday, June 10, which was granted, the paper said. …
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