Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Oklahoma: State Supreme Court tosses out Enid Commissioner recall

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has thrown out the recall effort against Enid Commissioner Ben Ezzell, overturning a lower court ruling allowing the recall to go foward. The recall had been set for February 9, 2021.

Ezzell argued that the district court was incorrect in not requiring a strict truthfulness test in the petition, instead going with an "implicitly complied" one. He also argues that it does not contain language and warnings as required by a 1998 court ruling (Clapsaddle v. Blevins). The court ruled that the "fatal flaws" needed to be corrected by the court. 

The recall date was set to be held on the same day as the new elections for commissioner. Ezzell was termed out, so the race would have been focused on the last three months of his term. One of the candidates to replace Ezzell was a lead petitioner in the recall. 

The issue was Ezzell's support for the city to enforce the state's COVID-19 alert system and his criticism of the police chief for a failure to enforce a mask mandate proposal designed to combat the pandemic.

Update: The issue is now closed as there was no petition for a rehearing

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