One of Oklahoma's ultimate political insiders, AG Mike Hunter, just resigned in disgrace. Seems he was lacking moral and even legal discretion in how close he chose to become with another member of the state govt.
In Oklahoma, the legislature has left adultery as a statutory criminal felony on the books for decades after it's ceased to be prosecuted. It's become evident that the Attorney General may be guilty of this felony and therefore disqualified for state elective office. His resignation, effective June 1st; effectively accomplishes that end of his public service for Oklahoma.
Hunter began in state politics when he replaced State Rep. Porter Davis in the Oklahoma House. Mary Fallin served the same HD85 in the Oklahoma House immediately succeeding Hunter. Later he was working with Gov. Frank Keating, both as Secretary of State, and operating a banking lobby in Washington, DC. Then Gov. Fallin tapped Hunter to replace Scott Prewitt as Attorney General, in 2017.
“It has been a distinct and absolute privilege of a lifetime to serve as the state’s attorney general. Regrettably, certain personal matters that are becoming public will become a distraction for this office. The office of attorney general is one of the most important positions in state government. I cannot allow a personal issue to overshadow the vital work the attorneys, agents and support staff do on behalf of Oklahomans."
“I thank those who entrusted me to fulfill this role and I am very sorry that I will no longer be here. I also extend a very heartfelt appreciation for those employees who chose public service and to work for the office. The employees in the Attorney General’s Office are dedicated, driven and go to bed every night and wake up every morning with the safety of Oklahomans as their magnetic north. I truly appreciate everything they do.”
Some of the state's top investigative reporters are looking at the connections to the State Health Dept. Hunter spent much of his efforts into amassing an independent fortune for the AG's funding priorities by using govt. legal resources to bankrupt select pharmaceutical corporations.
The alleged affair is said to involve a person at the health Dept.
Hunter received criticism for efforts to direct monetary damages in lawsuit awards. His argument is that individuals were harmed by reckless prescribing of opioid drugs, but Hunter demanded that the state should be the recipient of monetary damages.
Rather than going after the physicians who demonstrated malpractice patterns, he went for the deepest pockets and took the money for the state. This action harmed the actual victims by effectively bankrupting the opioid manufacturers before the families harmed could have their day in court.
Gov. Kevin Stitt now gains a powerful influence in the open election of a new term for Attorney General, slated for 2022. By appointing an interim AG, Stitt gives that appointee the status & stature of an incumbent, even though the people have not selected 'the top cop in the state'. Stitt released these remarks regarding Hunter's departure...
"I respect his decision to do what he thinks is best for his office and the state of Oklahoma. I know he is going through a difficult time and I wish him, his family, and the employees of his office well,” Stitt said.
Stitt will immediately begin a search for a nominee to be our next interim Attorney General. But an election process is also triggered.
§51-10. Vacancies - Appointments - Special elections.
A. All vacancies in state offices, except in offices of the members of the Legislature, members of the House of Representatives from Oklahoma in the Congress of the United States of America and members of the Senate of the United States of America, shall be filled by appointment by the Governor. When a vacancy occurs in the office of district judge, associate
From 2002 through 2009, Hunter worked as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the American Council of Life Insurers. He then served as the secretary of Oklahoma's Commissioners of the Land Office. Hunter went on to work as the chief operating officer of the American Bankers Association (ABA) from 2010 to January 2015 before joining the law firm of Williams & Jensen as counsel in Washington, D.C.
Hunter was named Oklahoma's first assistant attorney general in June 2015. In November 2015, he became Oklahoma secretary of state and special counsel to Governor Mary Fallin (R). In February 2017, Fallin appointed Hunter to the position of Oklahoma attorney general following former officeholder Scott Pruitt's confirmation as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.