We recently argued that Oklahoma state ethics rules shouldn’t allow ethics complaints to be filed close to an election, which prevents the accused from clearing their names. We were pleased to learn Ethics Commissioner Jo Pettigrew has now called for a blackout period on filing complaints to end the problem, rightly noting the unfairness of the system.
Shortly before the June 26 primary, state Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, filed ethics complaints against several state lawmakers based on contribution reports. Reynolds was campaigning for a primary challenger of one of the men he accused of violations.
When the Ethics Commission met after the primary, seven complaints were dismissed because no violations occurred. As expected, they were simple reporting errors.
A blackout period is a good idea; we hope the commission quickly adopts this common-sense proposal. Ethics complaints shouldn’t be a venue for campaign dirty tricks.