Governor Tribal Task Force Meets For Third Time To Discuss Tribal, State, Federal Jurisdiction

Gov. Kevin Stitt's task force on law enforcement and tribal jurisdiction has now met three times. The task force was created after a Lighthorse police officer took a non-tribal citizen to the Okmulgee County jail, and the jailer refused to accept the person, saying the tribal officer didn't have jurisdiction to make the arrest.

Monday, April 22nd 2024, 10:05 pm



Gov. Kevin Stitt's task force on law enforcement and tribal jurisdiction has now met three times.

The task force was created after a Lighthorse police officer took a non-tribal citizen to the Okmulgee County jail, and the jailer refused to accept the person, saying the tribal officer didn't have jurisdiction to make the arrest.

Jack Thorp is the DA for Wagoner, Adair, Sequoyah and Cherokee Counties and is on the task force.

He says the meetings are important and have been productive and says one of the concerns they've discussed is funding.

State law says fines and court costs from convictions help fund certain state agencies, but with convictions that happen in tribal courts, those fines are not going back to those agencies.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says it's down more than $1 million.

CLEET says it's down $1.5 million, and the Department of Public Safety says it’s also down $2.5 million from fines and fees.

"Some of the things that we talked about today was a loss of revenue for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, their labs,” said Thorp. “A lot of the tribal cases are still utilizing the OBSI lab, but some of the shortfall is because the OBSI lab is funded by fees. We're trying to find a way to recapture those fees but still be cooperative with our tribal partners."

The task force isn't sure if the tribes are assessing and collecting those court costs.

If they are, there's no way set up right up right now, for the tribes to send that money back to the state agencies who provide them services.

The five major tribes were invited but declined to be part of task force, saying they believed it was created for political purposes rather than solving problems.

Related Stories:

  1. Okmulgee County Jailer Accused Of Assaulting Lighthorse Deputy Chief
  2. Tribal Law Expert Explains Jurisdiction Confusion Between Muscogee Lighthorse Police And Okmulgee Co. Jailer
  3. Governor Kevin Stitt Announces One Oklahoma Task Force To Address Tribal Jurisdiction
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