Governor Kevin Stitt Appoints Tulsa Attorney John O'Connor As State Attorney General

Friday, July 23rd 2021, 5:37 pm
By: Reagan Ledbetter

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Governor Kevin Stitt has appointed a Tulsa attorney to take over as the state's Attorney General.

Stitt named John O'Connor the state's top prosecutor, after Mike Hunter resigned in May.

Stitt said he wanted to have someone who has a very high understanding of the law and someone who always does the right things. Stitt said selecting a leader like O'Connor can help Oklahoma move toward becoming a top ten state.

"We needed someone willing to fight and defend what's best for all four million Oklahomans,” said Governor Stitt.

O’Connor has been practicing law in Tulsa for the last 40 years. He was nominated to be a federal judge by President Donald Trump in 2018, but the American Bar Association later determined O'Connor was unqualified to be a judge. Governor Stitt said O’Connor is a great attorney and tireless worker.

"There's much work to be done ,as you know. You don't have to read a newspaper to realize there are some very serious issues pending that will affect our state,” said O’Connor.

Quickly after the announcement, both Governor Stitt and O'Connor were questioned about the Supreme Court ruling on tribal jurisdiction.

O'Connor didn't hold back, saying the McGirt case was supposed to apply to federal crimes only, but now it's being used for civil actions.

"If the question is, will we oppose McGirt? Yes. If the question is will we seek the overturning of the Supreme Court decision on McGirt? The answer is yes. Will we try to work with the tribes? Absolutely,” said O’Connor.

O'Connor also said he plans to continue the fight against pharmaceutical companies and hold them accountable.

“I know John's heart and I know he is the right leader at the right time,” said Stitt.

O'Connor will take over the final 18 months of Mike Hunters term. He said he does plan to run for the position in 2022. 

The Governor's office said Stitt will host a formal swearing-in ceremony for O’Connor in the Blue Room at the State Capital Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.