AG Appoints Special Counsel to Investigate Pardon and Parole Board
Mike Seals - March 22, 2021 11:11 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today announced the appointment of former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma Brian Kuester as a special counsel to investigate allegations reported to the Attorney General’s Office surrounding the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.
The appointment comes as the Attorney General’s Office continues to receive complaints about the manner in which the Pardon and Parole Board has conducted recent agency actions.
Attorney General Hunter said appointing a special counsel ensures confidence and objectivity.
“The role of the Attorney General’s Office at the Pardon and Parole Board is to represent the state in clemency hearings,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Because of this role, and several of the specific allegations surrounding the board we have received, I determined it would be best to appoint an outside counsel to look at the claims. I have worked closely with Brian on several important issues and have the utmost confidence in him. I have no doubt that he will look at the accusations and dispatch a fair, reasonable legal conclusion. Brian will also work with Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations Director Ricky Adams and his team on the investigation. I appreciate both Brian and Director Adams for their work and look forward to these issues being resolved.”
Kuester currently works in private law practice. Most recently, he served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, where he was appointed in 2017 and resigned earlier this year as is customary after a presidential administration change.
Before his appointment as U.S. Attorney, he was elected in 2010 as Oklahoma’s District 27 district attorney. There, he oversaw cases in Adair, Cherokee, Sequoyah and Wagoner Counties. Kuester also previously served as an assistant district attorney in the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office.
“I appreciate Attorney General Hunter’s confidence in me to look into these allegations on behalf of the state,” Kuester said. “Although I have transitioned to the private sector, my passion for truth and justice remains, and I remain committed to serving my state when the need calls. With help from the attorney general’s team and the OSBI, we will work together to bring answers to these questions, so Oklahomans can have confidence in the Pardon and Parole Board moving forward.”
Kuester received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Missouri and a law degree from the University of Tulsa.