Karen Keith keeping Elizabeth Wright TMAPC accusations under wraps

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Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith has yet to supply Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (TMAPC) member Elizabeth Wright with a list of specific allegations justifying Keith's call to remove Wright from the TMAPC over a year before her three-year term is due to end, according to an email from Wright earlier today. The County Commission, which appointed Wright in 2008, is slated to vote on her removal tomorrow, November 30, 2009.

Removing a TMAPC member before the end of the term can only be done for cause. Keith's November 2, 2009, petition to remove Wright named two provisions of the TMAPC code of ethics and a general complaint ("conduct which materially and adversely affects the orderly or efficient operation of the TMAPC") which Wright is alleged to have violated but did not provide specifics -- which actions of Wright's on which dates are supposed to have been violations warranting premature removal.

The public hearing on Keith's petition was held at the Tulsa County Commission meeting last Monday, November 23, 2009, but the final vote was delayed a week to allow Keith to present those specifics and to allow Wright time to respond. Even if Wright receives the list today, she will have less than 24 hours to prepare a defense. The public will not have time to provide input to their County Commissioners.

Because public hearings cannot be continued from one meeting to the next, the public hearing on Wright has already concluded, and the public will not be allowed to address the County Commission about Keith's specific accusations.

The third charge was dropped, and the County Commission agreed to use the 2004 ethics rules as the basis for judgment, not the rules adopted on April 22, 2009, after the violations are supposed to have occurred.

The just thing to do would be to kill Keith's campaign to oust Wright because of Keith's failure to present a specific indictment. In fact, the hearing should never have been scheduled without those specifics. Let Keith come back and try again, from scratch, when she is better prepared.

At the very least, Liz Wright and the public deserve at least a week after those specifics are released before a full public hearing is held and a vote is taken.

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1 Comments

Bob said:

Astute posting, Michael.

Will Monday be a County Commissioner Karen Keith Kangaroo Court, or will these spurious charges against Commissioner Wright just be dropped??

Apparently, County Commissioner Karen Keith values her land developer benefactors like Mr. Bumfunckner, more than she fears making political enemies.

Like Pres. Obama and Health Care, maybe this will be Commissioner Karen Keith's Waterloo.....

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 29, 2009 11:55 AM.

A Thanksgiving reader was the previous entry in this blog.

Is the TMAPC a quasi-judicial body? is the next entry in this blog.

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