Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter opted to recuse himself from the OSBI investigation into allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against former University of Oklahoma President and Vice President David Boren and Tripp Hall, respectively.
Instead Hunter has chosen high profile attorney Patrick Ryan as special counsel. Ryan has a long and impressive legal career but is best known as the US Attorney who prosecuted Murrah Building bomber Timothy McVeigh.
According to a statement from the AG’s office, Ryan will assist the OSBI in its investigation, the findings of which will be given to a multi-county grand jury.
“The Attorney General took appropriate action by recusing himself and numerous senior members of his staff from involvement in this case to avoid any conflict of interest,” AG Spokesperson Alex Gerszewski said in an emailed statement. “This will ensure we can continue our attorney client relationship with the university now and in the future.”
Praise also came from Boren and Hall’s accusers. Their spokesperson Sara Bana said they “appreciate and applaud” Hunter’s decision to recuse himself and were “pleased” with Ryan’s appointment.
“These actions are confirmation to every victim and survivor that the institutions created and funded by and for the people of Oklahoma will not fail to see that justice is done,” Bana said.
Despite the glowing praise, questions are being asked about the connection between Boren and Ryan.
Both men attended OU Law school at the same time. Boren graduated with his degree in 1968, Ryan graduated just one year later. The two served as editors of the Oklahoma Law review together. Ryan is also an undergraduate alumnus of OU.
The AG's office said "appropriate measures" were taken to make sure Ryan did not have a conflict.