Oklahoma DA Faces Off With Pardon And Parole Board

Tuesday, August 14th 2012, 7:29 pm
By: News 9

District Attorney David Prater and members of the Pardon and Parole board face off for the first time since the DA sent a letter accusing the board of misconduct.

Prater alleges the board has operated a secret docket to release some inmates before serving their mandatory sentence.

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

Allegations were inflammatory but at the meeting tempers didn't flare, instead there were handshakes and smiles. Yet, it won't stop the district attorney's criminal investigation into illegal early commutations.

Read David Prater's entire letter to the parole board.

It all started with an automated call to Tim Sharp alerting him the drunk driver who killed his father was up for parole; 4 years too soon.

8/8/2012 Related Story: Son Of Man Killed By Drunk Driver Disturbed By Prater Allegations

After Tuesday's pardon and parole meeting Tim can temporarily sigh a breath of relief.

"What I'm worried about though is when she would possibly put back on the docket I guess they are waiting to hear from tag ruling on this. I don't know if it's going to be weeks months or another four and a half years the way it was supposed to be by law," Sharp said.

That law is up for debate and the attorney general will weigh in. What he recommends will undoubtedly affect the fifty inmates Prater claims said have been given illegal preferential parole treatment by the board for at least two years. On that list is Sharp's father's murderer, Maelene Chambers.

3/12/2009 Related Story: Drunk Driver Wants Sentencing Rule Changed

The docket for inmates isn't the only issue being investigated. Prater blasts the parole board for its slow moving response.

"The Governor's office and the Pardons and Parole Board director didn't have any conversation with board members before my August 8 letter was released and that makes no sense to me and it caught them completely off guard, (which is) completely inappropriate," Prater said.

Attorney general Scott Pruitt is expected to release an opinion on the matter. In the meantime there is a moratorium on early releases.