Attorney General appeals Judge’s suspension of energy discrimination Act


The State Attorney General is appealing a district court judge’s ruling to suspend enforcement of Oklahoma’s Energy Discrimination Elimination Act, the one that banned state agencies from doing business with financial firms that discriminate against the oil and gas industry.

Filings show Attorney General Gentner Drummond’s office took the ruling by Oklahoma County District Court Judge Sheila Stinson to the State Appellate courts. They show the attorney general is not interested in a settlement conference and contends the ruling was improper because the retired state worker who sued lacked “both individual and taxpayer standing.”

Don Keenan, former president of the Oklahoma Public Employees Association filed suit last fall against State Treasurer Todd Russ, contending the treasurer’s enforcement of the law harmed his state pension. Judge Stinson issued a temporary restraining order last month barring the Treasurer from enforcing the Act.

“This decision was erroneous because Plaintiff lacks both individual and taxpayer standing, the Act explicitly ensures that public retirement systems are managed for the exclusive benefit of pensioners, and the Act is not unconstitutionally vague,” stated the appeal by the Attorney General’s office.

The appeal indicated the Attorney General intends to challenge Judge Stinson’s decision on four grounds.

One is whether the district court erred in granting the temporary injunction against the State Treasurer for enforcing the act.

Two is whether the Plaintiff, meaning Don Keenan, possesses standing when he has not been harmed and the Petition does not include any allegations of the illegal expenditure of funds.

A third ground is whether the Oklahoma Energy Discrimination Elimination Act violates Article 23, Section 12 of the Oklahoma constitution.

The attorney general’s final basis for the appeal is whether the Act is “unconstitutionally vague” in violation of Article 2, Section 7 of the Oklahoma Constitution.