Use of Oklahoma State Email to Support Judges Is Questioned

October 10, 2012

Questions were raised as to whether an email from a state employee advocating the retention of the appellate judges on the November ballot violated an anti-electioneering ethics rule. The email was sent by the John Miley, general counsel to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, whose wife is standing for retention to the supreme court. Miley believes that the nonpartisan retention election is neither an election nor a ballot measure under the anti-electioneering rule but suggests that he would likely not engage in such communications in the future. The email was prompted at least in part by the state chamber’s evaluations of judges and justices based on their civil liability rulings.