Tar Creek open records lawsuit is allowed to move ahead after judge tosses out AG Mike Hunter’s request

By: Justin Wingerter, The Oklahoman/NewsOK, February 23, 2018

An Oklahoma County judge on Friday rejected a request by Attorney General Mike Hunter to throw out an open records lawsuit that seeks to make public a state audit that uncovered an alleged conspiracy against the state but was sealed several years ago.

Judge Patricia Parrish’s decision allows the lawsuit by Campaign for Accountability to move ahead. The judge was noticeably skeptical of arguments put forth by senior assistant attorney general Charles Rogers, as well as his courtroom behavior.

“I’m not actually ordering production of the (audit) today,” Parrish told the court after 45 minutes of debate. “All I’m doing is saying the case is not being dismissed.”

“But by denying it, I’m basically denying all of Mr. Hunter’s defenses as to why the document shouldn’t be released,” she added in a strong blow to the attorney general.

The CfA lawsuit requests the attorney general’s office release a 2014 audit into the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Trust, a board established to help residents in the Tar Creek Superfund site relocate away from the contaminated towns of Picher and Cardin in far northeast Oklahoma.

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