Oklahoma Supreme Court grants attorney general’s office more time to release emails

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court has granted an emergency motion that gives Oklahoma’s new attorney general more time to produce thousands of documents detailing the relationship that new Environmental Protection Agency leader Scott Pruitt had with energy companies.

In an order late Tuesday, Chief Justice Douglas Combs granted Attorney General Mike Hunter’s request for an emergency stay.

Hunter had argued that complying with a lower court’s request to produce thousands of documents by Friday amounted to a “Herculean task.”

Lisa Graves of the Center for Media and Democracy, which sued Pruitt’s office to release the documents, described Hunter’s request as a delay tactic and said she’s confident they will ultimately win the case and receive thousands more emails.

Last month, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office released more than 7,500 pages of documents as part of the lawsuit.

The Center for Media and Democracy requested all communication between Scott Pruitt and his staff with large energy corporations, after a 2014 New York Times article that detailed how Pruitt signed his name to a letter drafted by Devon Energy attorneys.

That open records request was made two years ago and the CMD sued to get the documents after they said the AG’s office was not turning them over.

“What you see is more of this relationship, the tightness of that relationship and the sort of love affair between him and his staff and these energy company lobbyists,” said Lisa Graves. “What you see is a very hand in glove tight relationship between this public officer and these very private, very special interest, some of the richest interests in the country.”

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office sent us this statement at the time:

“This afternoon the Office of Attorney General complied with a Court’s order regarding a January 2015 Open Records Act request. In fact, the Office went above and beyond what is required under the Open Records Act and produced thousands of additional documents that, but for the Court’s order, would typically be considered records outside the scope of the Act. This broad disclosure should provide affirmation that, despite politically motivated allegations, the Office of Attorney General remains fully committed to the letter and spirit of the Open Records Act.” – Lincoln Ferguson, Press Secretary. 

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