Pardon And Parole Board Requests To Hire Outside Counsel For Representation

Thursday, October 25th 2012, 10:44 pm
By: News 9

New information has come to light, Thursday, in the controversy surrounding the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.

News9 obtained documents revealing the board requested $19,999 to hire an outside attorney, Mack Martin, to represent the board and its individual members following announcements of ongoing criminal investigations into accusations of deceptive practices by the board.

Martin refused to comment on the nature of his hiring, but a written request filed by the Pardon and Parole Board claims, "The Office of the Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma's interests are in direct conflict with the interests of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board."

8/8/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma County D.A. Accuses Parole Board Of Operating 'Secret' Docket For Inmates

The Pardon and Parole Board's Executive Director Terry Jenks claims hiring Martin is a "preemptive measure" but this afternoon he also told News 9 he could not discuss the details due to a "court order."

Attorney General Scott Pruitt previously announced in media reports, back in August he "opened his own investigations into allegations that the OK Pardon and Parole Board members regularly violated the state's open meetings act."

A spokesperson for the attorney general's office provided News 9 with a similar statement again, more than a month after the initial comments by A.G. Pruitt.

Pruitt's statements came on the heels of the Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater accusing the board of holding secret dockets to release inmates early in August 2012.

Separate from the Attorney General's office, Prater confirms his office is currently conducting its own in-house criminal investigation into the practices of the board.

News 9 also found out the Attorney General cannot approve or deny request for outside counsel if the total cost is less than $20,000. The request by the Pardon and Parole Board was made for $19,999.