Last week, in Oklahoma City, Attorney R Kyle Alderson was confronted with serious allegations in a civil suit he has been litigating for nearly a year. Candidates for District Court Judge have limits on their professional behavior, which include some involvement with political parties.
Yesterday we learned that Alderman withdrew his name from a race for District Court Judge. It's not yet clear if last week and this week are connected?
Alderson has been a municipal judge for Pawnee, OK, as well as Tulsa, OK. The law firm of Titus Hillis lists Alderson as a part of their law firm while concurrently presiding as a municipal judge.
Alderson represents a defendant in a case brought by a member of the Oklahoma Republican Party, against the party leadership, claiming violations of the OKGOP charter bylaws.
It's not clear if the members of the OKGOP's presiding authority (the State Committee) was even notified of the lawsuit, but the 4 Central Committee members were named in the lawsuit.
Judges (and judicial candidates) have certain rules prohibiting their actions in certain groups, because it could present appearances of bias, especially if an association expects their members to give preference to fellow members (i.e. Fraternal groups, secret societies, & groups with political agendas).
The civil suit against the OKGOP may well end in a mistrial or appeal. Not just because of Alderson's actions, but because of other issues. Others who acted as attorneys in the case include former District Attorney Rex Duncan, and current OKGOP Chair A. J. Ferrate. Alderson used to work for Duncan, in the District Attorney's office for Pawnee & Osage Counties.
Al Gerhart is the plaintiff in the suit. His case is claiming that his membership rights of participation were systematically denied on several occasions by the party leadership.
RULES OF THE OKLAHOMA REPUBLICAN PARTY
Rule 3- Rights and Qualifications of Members and Officers
Gerhart has been a leader in the Tea Party movement and Was the State Campaign Coordinator for the 2012 Ron Paul Presidential Campaign. Gerhart is also a citizen journalist, specializing in investigatory journalism. He has broken many stories over the past 12 years, leading to several 'shake-ups in state & local govt.
In 2015, Gerhart was vindicated by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, after David Prater wrongfully convicted him of Blackmail of a state senator. The case hinged on whether Gerhart has constitutional rights to redressed and petition of the legislature. Gerhart had told the senator that an investigation would commence if the senator used dictatorial powers to kill a popular bill, in the committee which the senator chaired. Gerhart's message was; "If you won't let the committee vote on that bill, we'll have to investigate what might be influencing your behavior."
Gerhart's often caustic 'honey badger' personality has incurred significant opposition. The Appeals Court even referred to Gerhart's 'irritant' reputation among legislators. Gerhart now owns an Oklahoma license plate of "Irritnt" which he holds as a badge of honor. Tulsa World Journalist, Randy Krehbiel bestowed Gerhart with the title of gadfly (an insect which relentlessly bites livestock).