New Ethics Rules

Oklahoma City, OK – Oklahoma ethics panel ditches gag rule

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma Ethics Commission will no longer enforce a gag rule on people who file ethics complaints.

Commissioners voted unanimously yesterday for the rule change, which will be submitted to the Oklahoma Legislature. Unless lawmakers reject the new rule, it will go into effect.

The commission adopted a resolution stating the change is more in line with current law on First Amendment rights.

Two lawsuits have been filed in Tulsa County district court challenging the gag rule.

One was by a real estate agent Tom Hargrave, who is making allegations of graft in the sale of a lawmaker's home.

Hargrave says Rep. Rex Duncan of Sand Springs retaliated against him by filing a complaint alleging a violation of the commission gag rule.