OKLAHOMA CITY (April 6, 2011) – State Reps. Mike Ritze and Mike Reynolds today called for the removal of a state judge.
“To leave a judge in place with a clear conflict of interest clearly undermines public confidence in our judicial system,” said Ritze, R-Broken Arrow. “For that reason, I believe Judge Tom Lucas should be removed from office.”
House Resolution 1024, by Rep. Mike Reynolds, declares that District Judge Tom Lucas, Cleveland County Judge of the Twenty-first Judicial District, has “wholly failed to comply with certain provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct by failing to disqualify himself from hearing cases prosecuted by the Office of the District Attorney of Cleveland County.”
The resolution notes that a member of Lucas’ family is currently being investigated by the Office of the District Attorney of Cleveland County for child molestation and declares that Lucas’ refusal to disqualify himself from hearing cases prosecuted by the Office of the District Attorney of Cleveland County “constitutes gross partiality in office.”
Citing constitutional authority, the resolution then calls for the Court on the Judiciary to commence proceedings against Judge Lucas upon passage of House Resolution 1024.
The resolution states, “the House of Representatives of the State of Oklahoma petitions the Trial Division of the Court on the Judiciary to assume jurisdiction and institute proceedings to remove District Judge Tom Lucas, Cleveland County Judge of the Twenty-first Judicial District from office for gross partiality in office which, pursuant to Section 1 of Article VII-A of the Oklahoma Constitution, shall be cause for removal from such office.”
There was also HR1006 introduced on February 7 2011 to remove District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure for allegedly committing offenses involving moral turpitude; specifically, thirty felony counts of making a false or fictitious or fraudulent claim against the State of Oklahoma, a violation of Section 358 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes. It was referred to Judiciary Committee on February 8th.
On the same dates HR1001 was introduced and withdrawn from calendar and referred to Judiciary Committee for District Judge Thomas Bartheld, Pittsburg County Judge of the Eighteenth Judicial District who was alleged to have exercising judicial power under the Oklahoma Constitution and laws of the State of Oklahoma has wholly failed to comply with certain provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct by authorizing the plea bargain negotiated between the prosecution and attorneys for the defendant in the criminal case of State of Oklahoma vs. David Harold Earls, Pittsburg County District Court Case Number CF-2008-00434.
In May 2009, Earls' case garnered national attention when he accepted a plea bargain in Pittsburg County District Court of one year in jail and 19 years suspended for the rape of a 4-year-old girl he was babysitting. A grand jury indicted Earls in September on three counts of lewd and lascivious or indecent acts with a child under 16. Earls is accused of molesting two children, a 5-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy, between May 9 and July 20, 2008. Earls died in February at a McAlester hospital, where he was taken after developing flu-like symptoms.
On those same dates HR 1005 followed the same steps regarding Vickie Miles-LaGrange, United States District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma, has issued an injunction blocking the certification of the election results for State Question 755, Legislative Referendum 355. State Question 755, Legislative Referendum 355, passed by a vote of 696,650 for the measure and 294,944 against the measure; and it is undisputed that over seventy percent (70%) of Oklahoma voters voted for the amendment. The measure would have required that courts rely on federal or state laws when handing down decisions concerning cases and would prohibit them from using international law or Sharia law when making rulings.