Poultry Firms Seek Oklahoma Attorney General's Testimony

Thursday, February 15th 2007, 9:24 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- An attorney for an Arkansas poultry company targeted in a lawsuit over water quality in Oklahoma's rivers asks a federal judge Thursday to allow his firm to depose Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson.

Attorneys for the 14 poultry firms sued by Oklahoma for allegedly polluting the Illinois River watershed with chicken litter want Edmondson to be considered a witness in the pending federal trial in Tulsa.

That's because of remarks he made about the amount of phosphorous dumped on the ground in the watershed each year being equivalent to the waste of 10.7 million people, among others.

But attorneys for the state say the poultry firms have no right to depose Edmondson because he is not the plaintiff in the case, only the plaintiff's counsel.

They say Edmondson is protected from giving a deposition because he is a highly placed public official.

US Magistrate Judge Sam Joyner says he will have a ruling in seven to 10 days.