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Judge Rules Stillwater Mayor Will Not Stand Trial

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Stillwater Mayor Nathan Bates Stillwater Mayor Nathan Bates

The Associated Press 

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- A Payne County judge says Stillwater Mayor Nathan Bates should not be tried on a felony charge of violating Oklahoma's Computer Crimes Act.

Bates was accused of using his city-issued computer and e-mail to promote a private business venture. But Special Judge Phillip Corley ruled Monday that the city's policy on computer use doesn't apply to elected officials, like Bates.

Corley also ruled that the statute under which Bates was charged applies to someone who hacks into a computer system and steals or destroys documents.

Assistant District Attorney Charles Rogers says he plans to appeal the ruling. He says the state believes Bates unlawfully used the city's computer and computer system.

Bates said he believes the state is wasting taxpayer dollars by pursuing the charge.

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