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Oklahoma has just experienced an earthquake this evening , registering higher than the ones to which we are usually accustomed. And I am not even talking about the ‘fracking’ earthquakes. This one will potentially do more damage than any of those have, and will make the strongest Oklahoma earthquake, look like a mere aftershock.
The earthquake or bombshell, which has shaken Oklahoma government at its core, was provided in today’s article published by the Frontier and in the Dallas Morning News. It was penned by journalist Ziva Branstetter. Branstetter is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, who includes in her twitter bio ” Not only can I take the heat in this kitchen, but I’m wearing a cute apron.”
As a journalist, she is very well-decorated. She has been not only a Pulitzer finalist, but also an Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics finalist and Scripps Howard National Awards Service to the First Amendment finalist for her coverage of the botched execution of Clayton Lockett. The reporting of the botched execution led to a stay of all future executions in Oklahoma. Previously at the Tulsa World, Tulsa Tribune, and Philadelphia Daily News, she is now Editor-in-Chief of The Frontier, a media startup company with a lineup of veteran journalists, “no ads” and “content worth paying for.”
In the article, she describes an intervention by then Governor Rick Perry in a communication with current Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to end an investigation by the State Medical Board. The Medical Board had been investingating Tulsa Neurosurgeon Dr. Steven Anagnost. Influence and conduct as such would be improper. The influence and intervention brought to a abrupt halt the 3-year investigation with more than $600,000 dollars invested by the State of Oklahoma. The circumstances surrounding the investigation include conspiracy and collusion, and has already been the subject of intensive investigation by the media, most specifically, the Red Dirt Report ( in its “Unholy Trinity” series). Before any denial of the facts by State officials can be credibly asserted , the article cites memos, including one by Dr. Eric Frische of the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure & Supervision (OK State Medical Board), acknowledging and lamenting the intervention by Governor Fallin through her General counsel, Attorney, Steve Mullins. Mullins is a former prosecutor and US Justice Department appointee. Th
I would think Private attorneys and General Counsels would know the boundaries of what is ethical and legal. I’m no lawyer,but I am betting the Oklahoma Bar Association will agree with this statement.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court has recently admonished the Oklahoma State Medical board for its violation of Due Process and conflicts-of-interest in the Anagnost case.
This article may explain the rapid exit of Alex Weintz, the Governor’s spokesman, last week, who was obviously aware of this story breaking, as he provided a denial or ‘non-comment’ comment on behalf of the governor in the story.
The publishing of this article has caused shockwaves across Oklahoma City,Tulsa and Austin, despite Rick Perry’s irrelevance as a failed presidential candidate. In spite the choruses of “No comment” from the OK State Medical Board and other State Officials, legislators have called for a formal investigation on Thursday November 4, 2015 into the conduct of Governor Mary Fallin and State Attorney General Scott Pruitt, as well as Steve Mullins, the governor’s attorney.
I hope you have invested in a popcorn distributor. Because, ‘things’ just got “real” in Oklahoma. Again.