Gov. Brad Henry has appointed Oklahoma County Commissioner Jim
Roth to replace Denise Bode on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
Bode is resigning from her post on the commission, which regulates
utilities, telecommunications and oil and gas drilling in Oklahoma.
Roth's appointment will make him the first and only openly
homosexual person to hold a statewide office in Oklahoma when he
assumes his new role June 1.
"Jim Roth has the intellect, the integrity and the dedication to
public service needed to be an outstanding corporation
commissioner," said Henry. "Not only does he exemplify the highest
ethical standards, but he is a consensus-builder who recognizes the
importance of bipartisanship and working together. I am confident
that Jim's fair-mindedness, honesty and attention to detail will
make him an excellent addition to the commission."
Roth said he accepted the appointment after learning Gov. Henry's
vision for the position.
"To take advantage of Oklahoma's unique natural resources, its
energy and its agriculture, and to reposition it for the sake of
America's energy independence for the sake of all of our Oklahoma
neighbors," said Roth. "To start looking at the things (the
University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University) and great
Oklahoma assets like the Noble Foundation are looking at biomass and
biofuel - and issues of sustainability we need to be talking about
as a country and as a state."
Roth, an attorney trained at Oklahoma City University School of
Law, also has a political science degree from Kansas State
University. He is also a National Security Forum graduate of the
United States War College and attended the John F. Kennedy School of
Government at Harvard. After practicing law in a private practice in
Oklahoma City, Roth joined the staff at Oklahoma County in 1995,
serving as chief deputy under the county clerk and chief deputy
county commissioner for District 1 before he was elected to the
office of county commissioner.
Roth considers his unfamiliarity with many of the energy and
regulatory issues governed by the Corporation Commission as an
asset, not a liability.
"I approach the issues without bias, without predetermination,
ready to learn and make fair decisions," said Roth. "I'm a
ratepayer. I too have electricity, I too have cell phones, so I also
have that consumer perspective."
His background in law will also assist him in the quasi-judicial
role of commissioner, he said. …