The Edmond Sun

Local News

January 31, 2014

Assistant DA looks to advance to top spot

GUTHRIE — For the first time in almost two decades there will be an open seat for District Attorney for Payne and Logan counties.

And, for Assistant DA Laura Austin Thomas the timing was right to announce her candidacy for a job she has patiently waited for.

The seat is open with current District Attorney Tom Lee retiring at the end of his term. The filing period is April 9-11.

I have always wanted to run for this office but the opportunity had not presented itself. This is the first time I could realistically file. I have been ready for this for a long time.”

Thomas has 30 years prosecution experience with the past 27 years having worked in Payne and Logan counties in multiple areas ranging from misdemeanors and felony offenses, juvenile delinquent and deprived, capital homicide to administering and managing two of the top performing child support offices in the state.

“I am uniquely qualified for this job,” Thomas said. “I have extensive felony trial experience. I am the only one that has had to stand up and ask a jury for the death penalty. I have experience all the way from traffic to death penalty in trying cases.”

Thomas also would be making a piece of local history as the first elected female district attorney for this district.

“If elected I would be the first female DA in this district,” Thomas said. “The system is still heavily dominated by male district attorneys.”

Thomas, who has three daughters with her husband, says if elected it will reinforce life lessons they taught their children.

Thomas said she is a strong believer that an aggressive juvenile division is the first line of influence and defense in the lives of children in crisis.

Thomas cited the example of wanting to start a program in the public school system aimed at helping students at risk through education and mentoring.

“I would like to partner with those in the community to establish an education program that begins in grade school and goes through high school that is aimed for women at risk,” Thomas said.

Thomas added that the successful collection of child support can remove children and families from poverty and government assistance. In 2013, Thomas was chosen Attorney of the Year by the Oklahoma Child Support Enforcement Association.

Thomas said she has been asked by other district attorney offices across the state to help improve their child support offices.

Thomas said she plans to continue her focus and resources in areas that will protect citizens including domestic abuse, abuse and neglect of children and elderly abuse.

“I strongly believe people should be held accountable and responsible for the consequences of their actions,” Thomas said. “I want to increase prosecution of those who willfully fail to pay child support, those who commit welfare and food stamp fraud and the career criminal.”

Thomas said she would also continue the Drug Court program in Payne and Logan counties whose success is patterned by other counties across the state.

Thomas recently made an appearance before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board to argue against the recommended release of convicted murderer, Christine Biegler from Payne County.

 “I’m appalled parole would be recommended to the board for this defendant who brutally slaughtered a 52-year-old disabled woman by stabbing her in excess of 30 times and slitting her throat from ear to ear resulting in an agonizing death,” Thomas said. “A jury recommended a life sentence in 1994, and the defendant has had numerous misconduct violations while incarcerated.”

Thomas said she looks forward to having an opportunity to visit with voters in both counties to share her vision for the district attorney’s high office.

FOR MORE information about Thomas’ candidacy, visit her website at www.lauraaustinthomas.org.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Gas State gas price plummets 18 cents in 25 days

    Abundant domestic refinery production is behind a steep 18-cent plunge in Oklahoma gasoline prices at the pump during the last 25 days, AAA reports.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • A Q&A on ‘Obamacare’ Court Rulings

    On Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on the legality of tax subsidies being provided to people who bought “Obamacare” health insurance policies in Oklahoma and 35 other states.
    Here’s a look at the rulings’ potential impact in Oklahoma.

    Q: I’m confused. What did the courts rule today?
    A: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Washington, D.C., decided that the government can’t provide tax subsidies for Affordable Care Act plans purchased in 36 states where the federal government is operating the health insurance exchange. Oklahoma is one of the 36 states. A few hours later, the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Richmond, Va., issued a conflicting ruling that upheld the legality of the health-care law’s tax subsidies.

    July 22, 2014

  • June healthy month for Oklahoma jobs

    Nearly 10,000 new jobs in Oklahoma were created in June, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
    Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday the state experienced one of the largest increases in employment in the nation in June. More than 9,600 additional people joined the state’s workforce in June.
    The unemployment rate in June dropped to 4.5 percent, its lowest ratio in six years. June’s rate was down a percentage point from 4.6 percent in May and April, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

    July 22, 2014

  • Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it — former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns.
    “It’s always good when you go hire staff and you look at just getting the right people within your program. And, a lot of times, guys know a lot of Xs and Os, but it’s all just about developing a player,” said Strong, Tuesday during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. “Joe and I, we’ve coached together at two different places. But just with him being within his conference and knowing the conference, he’s been a great asset.”

    July 22, 2014

  • Whataburger celebrates children’s superhero spirit with ‘Super-Duper’ event

    It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Super Duper Celebration! In the heart of every child lives a superhero and on Thursday Whataburger restaurants will celebrate the superhero spirit in all of us with an evening of family fun from 5-7 p.m. at its location at 421 S. Broadway.
    Customers can spend quality time with their little heroes and treat them to a superhero-themed celebration of food, activities and giveaways. Children 12 and under dressed in a superhero costume will receive a free kid’s meal. There will be a Whataburger photo booth and Whataburger’s mascot, Whataguy, will also be present to join the fun.

    July 22, 2014

  • Kenya Edmond man confesses to crimes in Kenya

    A federal grand jury alleges a 19-year-old Edmond man staying at a children’s’ home in Kenya engaged in illicit sexual conduct with residents ages 4-9.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS includes Edmond in heat advisory

    The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for areas including Edmond.
    It will be in effect from noon Tuesday to 7 p.m. Wednesday, a period during which afternoon heat index values will be near 105 degrees. Individuals exposed to the extreme heat for a prolonged period may develop heat-related illnesses, according to the NWS.

    July 22, 2014

  • Police respond to toddler tragedy at park

    A 2-year-old child has died after a tragic incident during the weekend at a popular Edmond park, a police spokeswoman said.

    July 22, 2014

  • Germans from Russia group plans annual meeting in Edmond

    The Central Oklahoma Chapter of American Historical Society of Germans from Russia will have its annual All State meeting on Aug. 9 at the Memorial Road Mennonite Brethren Church, 4201 E. Memorial Road, in Edmond.

    July 22, 2014

  • Goddard Students learn about animal behavior

    Animals can be fun, friendly and sometimes dangerous. That is what the students at Goddard School on North Western are learning this summer and this week they are learning about pets.
    Each summer Goddard School’s across the nation choose from a provided list of curriculum to use with their students that would be popular with the children. From learning about insects to a tiger safari, each summer is filled with creative learning.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open
Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results