Former city attorney charged with violating open records law

Saturday, July 24th 2004, 11:37 am
By: News On 6

GROVE, Okla. (AP) _ The former city attorney here pleaded innocent Friday to seven misdemeanor counts alleging she violated Oklahoma's Open Records Act.

Dorothy Parker, appearing with attorney Larry Oliver, was released on her own recognizance after entering a plea in Delaware County District Court.

District Attorney Eddie Wyant said the charges against Parker arise from her role in a battle against former Grove banker Earl Shero, who fought in court to get the information packets that city councilors receive before their meetings, along with Parker's resume.

Associate District Judge Barry Denney ruled earlier this year that the packets and resume are public information.

The charges stem from Parker's role in keeping documents from former Shero.

Parker tried unsuccessfully to get a protective order to keep Shero from getting the documents.

Denney also said Shero was entitled to nearly $27,950 in legal fees from the city.

The City Council opted not to rehire Parker in June.

Shero filed a $1.5 million tort claim against the city this month, saying the legal battle cost him his job as executive vice president at Grand Savings Bank.

He also filed a petition this week with the state Attorney General's office. He wants the entire City Council removed from office for ``willfully neglecting to uphold state law.''

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation found Open Records Act violations by Parker, City Manager Bill Galletly and City Clerk Ronnie Buzzard, said District Attorney Eddie Wyant.

Galletly and Buzzard have accepted plea bargains, Wyant said. Wyant offered a similar deal to Parker, but she declined, he said.