Health Department attorney resigns; now faces criminal charges

The Associated Press - July 17, 2018 3:19 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The top attorney at the Oklahoma State Department of Health has resigned days after her advice on marijuana rules was ignored by the agency’s board, and now faces criminal charges.

Health Department officials confirmed Tuesday that Julie Ezell resigned as the agency’s general counsel on Friday, effective immediately. The agency declined additional comment.

In a brief email to the agency’s interim commissioner, Ezell wrote: “I am so sorry.”

Ezell, 37, now faces criminal charges after authorities said she threats to herself and lied about it to investigators. Ezell, of Edmond, was charged Tuesday in Oklahoma County with three felony counts.

She cautioned the board last week against banning smokable marijuana and requiring a pharmacist in every dispensary. She said those last-minute changes were beyond the board’s legal authority and would likely invite a lawsuit, but the board voted to make the changes anyway, prompting two separate lawsuits by medical marijuana advocates.

Ezell had helped write emergency rules after Oklahoma voters approved medical marijuana last month.

 

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