The Edmond Sun

Local News

July 13, 2012

Blair drops lawsuit against Jolley

Senator says ethics complaint also dismissed

EDMOND — State Sen. Clark Jolley’s Republican primary opponent has dropped a lawsuit filed over political action committee ads.

Last month, Oklahoma Senate District 41 candidate Paul Blair filed the lawsuit against Jolley, of Edmond, the Coalition for Oklahoma’s Future Inc. and members of the political action committee.

The lawsuit stated the defendants “persisted in the publication of radio/television advertisements (hereinafter ads), designed with malice and presented with reckless disregard for the truth so that a reasonable person would not understand the truth of the matter after being exposed to the ad.”

The radio and TV ads in question, which continued after Blair asked for them to be taken off the air, alleged that Blair violated state tax laws. Blair has said no taxes were due the state.

In a previous story published in The Edmond Sun, Jolley’s attorney, Andy Lester, of Edmond’s Lester, Loving & Davies, said the lawsuit papers alleged nothing against Jolley although his name was included in it.

On Friday, Blair issued a press release announcing his decision to drop the lawsuit.

Blair said in order for Oklahoma to reach its potential “it is imperative that candidates for office run races on issues and ideas and that voters have open access to the truth without political spin and character assassination. Together, we the people of Oklahoma can achieve that goal and change the modern political climate which discourages good people from running for public office.

“The campaign for Senate District 41 was never about me. The goal was to better serve my state and the constituents in my district. Although the campaign perpetrated on the citizens of Senate District 41 was monumental in its distortions, my family and friends have decided that it is in our best interest and the interest of the citizens of Oklahoma to terminate the lawsuit at this time.”

Jolley said fact that the lawsuit has been dropped against all parties is a positive development.

“That’s the right decision,” Jolley said. “I appreciate Paul’s decision to dismiss me from the lawsuit. It allows us to move on towards the future without this litigation pending.”

Jolley said he’s also pleased that ethics allegations regarding the creation of his 2012 Senate campaign fund have been dismissed by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. The commission voted that information it reviewed did not provide an adequate basis for the belief that a violation of ethics rules occurred.

In the June 26 primary Jolley received 4,379 votes, or 56.60 percent of the total while Blair received 3,358 votes, or 43.40 percent of the total, according to the Oklahoma State Election Board. Jolley faces Independent Richard Prawdzienski, 64, also of Edmond, in the Nov. 6 general election for the Senate seat.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

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