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Local Attorney Sparks Legal Showdown With OKC Over MAPS 3

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High-profile Oklahoma City attorney David Slane (left) is threatening the City of Oklahoma City with a lawsuit over MAPS 3. High-profile Oklahoma City attorney David Slane (left) is threatening the City of Oklahoma City with a lawsuit over MAPS 3.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

High-profile Oklahoma City attorney David Slane is threatening the City of Oklahoma City with a lawsuit over MAPS 3, a program Slane is calling unconstitutional.

In a letter addressed to Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, Slane gives an ultimatum and a deadline, demanding the city respond by Tuesday, September 3rd or face a lawsuit in the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Thursday was the start of a media blitz from Slane that some say is politically motivated opposition to the controversial, yet popular city improvement program. Slane insists he supports MAPS 3. He says he just wants the project to be carried out in a legal manner.

"[The city] forced the taxpayers to accept it as an all-or-nothing proposition, which is exactly what the Supreme Court of Oklahoma said they should not do," Slane said.

Slane is talking about what's called the single-subject rule, which works to keep legislation focused. Since MAPS 3 has eight projects instead of just one, Slane says it's illegal.

"It creates a $777 million slush fund, and they can spend the money any way they want," said Slane. "All they have to do is call it ‘capital improvements.'"

By late Thursday afternoon, Oklahoma City city manager Jim Couch said he had already given interviews to News 9 and four other Oklahoma City media outlets concerning Slane's letter.

You can read the letter in its entirety by clicking here.

"[MAPS 3] was drafted very specifically to withstand a challenge of this type," Couch said.

The city says it's confident Slane is wasting his time. Some within the city speculate the threat could be a political stunt by Councilman Ed Shadid, who is running for Cornett's mayoral seat. Slane says the legal showdown has nothing to do with politics.

"It's not a matter of being a thorn in Mayor Cornett's side," said Slane. "This is our third constitutional challenge to laws in Oklahoma in 18 months."

Both Cornett and Shadid are talking publicly about this issue, but neither political opponent returned News 9's request for comment.

Slane says the ball is now in the city's court as far as what's next for the project that promises a modern street car, a convention center and new sidewalks.

"We generally respond to everybody," said Couch. "We'll meet with anybody. That's generally what we do, so I don't know why we wouldn't [meet with Slane]."

If a lawsuit is filed, Slane says he will also ask for a restraining order prohibiting the city from collecting and spending additional taxpayer dollars on the current project.

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