Oklahoma's most controversial (and powerful) district attorney, David Prater; has set his aim on a member of the Oklahoma House leadership.
Rep. Terry O'Donnell has been officially ordered to stand in criminal trial. But you'd have to do a deep dive into the several pages filed, in order to find the one pivotal claim:
Did the 6-term lawmaker meet the state constitutional requirement to notify his colleagues of a personal benefit from a filed bill? His inlaws have owned and operated a motor vehicle tag agency in Catoosa, OK for decades. O'Donnell is uniquely qualified to develop workable reforms and modernization policies for the hundreds of such local state agencies across the state. Several such bills were filed every session for nearly 100 years.
The same constitution also delegates to the legislative bodies all authority to develop rules and procedures for complying with the constitutional mandates.
This indictment makes the State House a potential jury to the pivotal fact of meeting House rules for notification. A finding by the House leadership could all but nullify or convict Rep. O'Donnell. If Speaker Charles McCall issues an affidavit to the district court which refutes the claims of Prater, The case could collapse. the Constitution's clear 'separation of powers' will not allow the court to question the constitutional authority of the legislature to create & enforce rules and procedures to operate.
Did we tell you that David Prater is a Democrat politician? Did we tell you that Prater is, himself; under investigation for corruption and that a citizens grand jury petition is seeking to investigate and potentially indict Prater for a long list of grievances?
Of all the District Attorneys in the state, Prater's single office holds special powers to drag any state elected official into court. Prater has recklessly indicted several political operatives in the past, only to be forced to vacate those filings when the accused presented vindicating evidence that Prater oddly decided that the empaneled grand jury members didn't need to know.
But the political damage of the news cycle still buried the accused elected official with a smear. And that smear was often launched by prater during or just prior to an election.
The majority of Oklahoma's 149 legislators have family connections impacted financially by the majority of filed bills before the legislature. The Constitution does not spell out just how specific or large the impact of legislation needs to be, in the disclosure requirement. Any Tax bill, healthcare bill, education bill, or food regulatory bill impacts most legislator's family, business, or neighborhood connections.