Even though Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has released the Tar Creek Superfund site he previously claimed was not a public record, it isn’t enough for the Washington D.C. based Campaign for Accountability.
The watchdog group filed yet another lawsuit against Hunter in Oklahoma County District Court, the same court where it sued him last fall.
This week’s lawsuit (CV-2018-695) accused Hunter for failing to release communications between U.S. Sen. James Inhofe and former Attorney General Scott Pruitt. The object of the suit was to focus on what kind of role Sen. Inhofe might have played in convincing Pruitt not to release the controversial audit of the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Trust which oversaw the buyouts of homes and businesses at the superfund site.
There is speculation by some observers that members of the trust are also close allies of the Senator.
“As Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt refused to prosecute the misconduct and self-dealing revealed by the state auditor’s investigation of Tar Creek,” said Daniel E. Stevens, Executive Director of the Campaign for Accountability. “Both Pruitt and his successor, Mike Hunter, then tried to conceal the state auditor’s fundings from the public with Hunter releasing it only once it was clear an Oklahoma court would require it.”
He went on to claim that “Hunter is hiding Pruitt’s communications with Sen. Inhofe about Tar Creek,” and further asked, ” Why is the state’s top law enforcement official continually willing to flout Oklahoma law to protect Pruitt? The public deserves to know the whole story behind the Tar Creek debacle.”
It was Sen. Inhofe who helped set up LICRAT in 2006. And the lawsuit referred to a Politico story which suggested Pruitt originally withheld the document to avoid “embarrassing Sen. Inhofe who promoted and endorsed the plan to establish the trust.”
This week’s lawsuit stated that Hunter’s refusal to release the records is a violation of state law.