OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State House of Representatives has elected to censure a Representative who was arrested last week, accused of public intoxication.
According to officials, Rep. Dean Davis, R-Broken Arrow, was arrested March 23 in Bricktown for allegedly being drunk in public.
Body camera from the Oklahoma City Police Department shows Davis telling officers he can’t be detained due to a statute that says lawmakers cannot be arrested during legislative session.
In a public apology on the House floor regarding the arrest later that day, Davis disputed any wrongdoing.
“I understand that last night has become a story and that many of my colleagues in the House are being asked to comment on or to explain the events of last night. I dispute any wrongdoing. However, I do want to take this opportunity to apologize to this body for creating this unnecessary distraction from the important work of the House. Thank you members for allowing me this time. Thank you Mr. Speaker,” he said.
Officials say Davis received a deferred sentence in September of 2022.
In a vote Monday, the House voted 81-9 to censure Rep. Davis.
He is stripped of his committee assignments until a formal apology is issued to the Oklahoma City Police Department.
House Democratic leaders have been calling for accountability and questioning the “hypocrisy” of his and other representatives’ continued work on the floor and in committees.
“Today alone, we have members again who have been in trouble with law enforcement, who have been arrested, who have been charged with crimes, who preside over the body, who continue to be in committees and vote, who are able to ask questions and vote and debate. And all we’re simply asking is for, you know, they should be treated equally,” said House Minority Leader Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City, last week. “[Republicans] took it upon themselves to censure one of our members, and they should consider censuring the representative.”
Earlier this month, Mauree Turner, D-Oklahoma City, was censured and stripped of committee assignments for impeding “law enforcement from carrying out investigations or making arrests in the State Capitol.”
They have not been arrested or charged with a crime.
Turner voted against Davis’ censure Monday. Munson voted for the censure.
“I, myself, called for the Speaker to hold members accountable, especially when they break the law or believe that they are above the law, and so today’s action it seems like he was answering that call,” added House Minority Leader Munson. “I do think that Representative Davis may be in need of some help. And so we do hope that he seeks help and that he reaches out to his friends and his family and his community to get the help and the treatment that he may need because this isn’t a one time situation.”
Rep. Davis is the third member of the Oklahoma House GOP Caucus to face criminal charges in recent legislative sessions.
Vice Chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, was arrested in October 2022 for DUI. Martinez also attempted to evade arrest by citing the legislative session arrest exemption.
House Majority Whip Terry O’Donnell, R-Catoosa, is facing multiple felony charges – along with his wife, Teresa – for allegedly using his power to change state law so his wife could become a tag agent.
Speaker of the House Charles McCall, R-Atoka, issued the following statement:
“As a body, the House of Representatives and its members must hold ourselves to a high standard, and Rep. Davis’ conduct did not live up to that standard. The decision to censure a member of the House is not one that is made easily or carelessly, but is made when it is necessary to maintain the integrity of the House of Representatives and the trust of the great people of the state of Oklahoma in their government. The House of Representatives has nothing but the utmost respect for the members of our law enforcement community, and we expect the members of our body to exemplify that in their dealings with law enforcement.”