Pardon and parole board given ultimatum
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s pardon and parole board has been given an ultimatum.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater has given all five board members until Friday to step down or face criminal charges.
Prater claims the board routinely broke the state’s Opening Meeting Act.
Violating the Open Meeting Act could result in a $500 fine and a year in jail but at least one board member says he has no intention of stepping down.
“It’s against every fiber of my being to yield to wrong when I’ve done no wrong,” board member Currie Ballard said. “I’m gonna do everything within my power to maintain my position on the board.”
Prater sent a letter to the board in Aug. accusing them of repeatedly violating the Open Meeting Act after 51 inmates were placed on a “secret” hearings list that didn’t appear on any public agenda.
Multiple board members denied breaking the law.
“Willful intent of violating the law, we have not done,” Ballard said.
“I do not believe the board has done anything to violate criminal statutes,” board chairman Marc Dreyer said.
Dreyer wouldn’t say whether or not he’ll resign but Ballard openly criticized Prater’s threat.
“We’ve left common sense on a vacation somewhere,” Ballard said. “Apparently Prater has no crime in Oklahoma County. He’s got time to pick on the parole board that’s done no wrong.”
Prater would not comment on the proposed plea agreement that would allow the board members to step down gradually.