Friend of court briefs denied in Supreme Court challenge of Corporation Commissioner

 

The efforts of two former legislators to join the Oklahoma Supreme Court lawsuit filed by former Rep. Mike Reynolds against Corporation Commissioner Todd Hiett were rejected by the court.

Acting Chief Justice James R. Winchester signed the order on July 23 and it was made available this week on the court’s website. It offered no explanation and stated only that the applications of Dr. James Michael Ritze and Todd Hagopian to file amicus curiae briefs “are hereby denied.”

Ritze and Hagopian joined Reynolds in accusing Hiett of a conflict of interest and alleged violation of the Oklahoma constitution by also sitting on the board of directors of SpiritBank.

The two contended in their filings that Hiett should be removed from office.

When asked about the denial, Hagopian, a Libertarian candidate who ran unsuccessfully against Commissioner Hiett last year stated, “I do not regret writing the brief, as it forced Commissioner Hiett to respond to the allegations.”

Hagopian still believes Hiett’s defense of sitting on the bank board and being a commissioner “is a wild stretch.”

“We will know more in a few days, but the people of Oklahoma are certainly learning a lot about the various conflicts of interest on the Corporation Commission.  We obviously still have a lot of work to do in order to clean up the potential for corruption in Oklahoma Politics,” stated Hagopian in an email communication to OK Energy Today.

 

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