Suit to Remove Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Rejected
Beverly Cantrell - September 15, 2021 1:27 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit Tuesday that sought the removal of a commissioner from a state board that regulates a range of industries, including oil and gas production.
The court ruled that Republican former state Rep. Mike Reynolds lacked standing to seek removal of Republican Corporation Commissioner Todd Hiett.
“The court didn’t rule against the constitutionality, and I think that’s a shame,” Reynolds said. “I think I’m done with lawsuits on that particular issue.”
The court wrote that state law allows only the state attorney general, a district attorney or a candidate for the office to petition the removal.
“(Reynolds) acknowledges that he does not meet this court’s traditional standing requirements” for his request, according to the ruling. “This proceeding is a collateral attack by a private individual and is not permitted.”
Reynolds had argued that Hiett violated the state constitution by serving on the SpiritBank board.
Hiett, a former speaker of the state House of Representatives and a corporation commissioner since 2015, said he expected the ruling.
“I am gratified but certainly not surprised by the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s unanimous dismissal of the matter,” Hiett wrote in a statement. “As I said at the outset, this was a frivolous lawsuit.”