Fallin's General Counsel Resigns In Conflict Of Interest Controversy

Friday, March 17th 2017, 6:04 am
By: News 9

Controversy is brewing over the sudden resignation last week of Governor Mary Fallin's general counsel Jennifer Chance and new information suggests there may have been more behind her decision than her given reason, to "pursue other opportunities."

According to our partners at the Frontier, Gov. Fallin recently learned Chance referred legal business involving Tulsa reserve deputy Robert Bates to her husband, defense attorney Garin Derek Chance, after Bates was denied commutation by the governor. At the advice of Mrs. Chance, The Frontier reports Bates' family contacted her husband and was paid $25,000 to seek commutation.

Bates was sentenced to four years in prison for second-degree manslaughter in the 2015 shooting death of Eric Harris. Bates said he shot and killed Harris after mistakenly reaching for his gun instead of his taser.

When questioned about referring Bates' family to her husband, Mrs. Chance reportedly said she consulted the state Ethics Commission and attorney general's office in advance and received clearance. However, officials with the AG's office and the Ethics Commission told the governor's office they had no documentation of any such conversation.

It's unclear what, if anything, will happen as a result of Jennifer Chance referring legal business to her husband and then possibly lying about it.