Does anybody else find it interesting that Sen. Brian Crain is now working for the Tulsa County’s Treasurer’s office? Maybe it’s just press. According to the Tulsa World, Crain, a Tulsa Republican, sponsored legislation in 2005 that allowed county treasurers and assesors to hire their own general counsel.
The World reported on July 5 that :
“In 2007, the law firm Crain was associated with — Boone, Smith, Davis, Hurst & Dickman — was contracted to represent the Treasurer’s Office in all bankruptcy proceedings for a fee of $3,000 a month, $1,000 of which went to the state senator. Crain himself contracted with the county the next year at a fee of $4,000 a month.”
The Tulsa County Board of Commissioners recently renewed the contract through fiscal year 2010.
Is this just a law firm using its contacts to get work and vice versa? Or as they like to say in debate on the Senate floor, does this pass the smell test?
Good question. To Crain’s defense, the bill was passed in 2005. He was the Senate author. Senate Bill 478 didn’t take effect until November 2005. In an interview with The Tulsa World, Crain said he didn’t expect to benefit from the legislation, but knew it was something that could help county treasurers be more effective.
Crain told the Tulsa World:
“‘In sponsoring the bill, “I had no expectation but that this was better for county government,” Crain said.
He also had an answer for those who might find it unseemly for a lawmaker to be filling a position he helped create.
“I feel very comfortable that I followed the letter and the spirit of the ethics rules and was a proponent of legislation that I didn’t believe I was going to benefit from,” he said. ‘”
The story also pointed out that while on the job with the county treasurer’s office, Crain has helped the county collect nearly $1.35 million in unpaid taxes. Guess it’s not all bad. That’s money that could be used on infrastructure and stave off tax increases and help fund services in Tulsa County.
How that smells I guess is up to the voters.