Thursday, July 07, 2022

Frivolous, politically-motivated protective orders against OCPA dropped

In the final days before the primary, State Rep. Anthony Moore's wife sought and received a protective order against several employees of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) following what she alleged were threatening text messages. The Moore's seem to have never detailed what exactly was so threatening and have dismissed the protective orders, leaving OCPA furious at what appears now to have been nothing more than a politically-motivated media stunt, and an abuse of the protective order system.

OCPA's press release below:

Moore drops abusive protective orders

(July 6th) Rep. Anthony Moore’s spouse moved to dismiss all five Temporary Protective Orders that she had filed eight days before the primary election, including against four employees of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. The dismissal was made public on Tuesday.

On election night, Chris Cotner, an attorney for Rep. Moore and his spouse, offered to “settle” the matter with OCPA’s Jonathan Small, Dave Bond, and Ray Carter. When it became apparent that any such agreement would involve a gag order, Small, Bond, and Carter refused. They were prepared to attend a court hearing Tuesday, but it was canceled when Moore moved for dismissals.

None of the five targets of the Protective Orders ever had an opportunity to be heard in court. The petitions for the orders were legally deficient (with required areas of the forms left completely blank) and rested on claims that are false.

After our own investigation, we believe Rep. Moore’s spouse received a single text message and that Rep. Moore himself received three text messages. Rep. Moore subsequently admitted on a radio program that the messages were not threatening. He also offered no evidence that Small, Bond, and Carter were involved.

In fact, no OCPA staff member has ever had any contact with Rep. Moore’s spouse. One junior OCPA staff member, on her personal time, did send Rep. Moore (but not his spouse) two non-threatening text messages. While we do not condone that behavior, we recognize that this was a personal matter involving two young women from Western Oklahoma and the Moores. 

None of this ever involved OCPA—until Rep. Moore used it as the basis for a political dirty trick that has abused the court system and manipulated the media. OCPA’s only interest in Rep. Moore is what he does as a state legislator on public policy issues.

Rep. Moore’s frivolous and abusive actions, done in the name of his spouse, have led to OCPA staff members being unable to coach their children’s sports teams and fully participate in church activities. All this was an egregious abuse of serious legal processes designed to protect people who are truly at risk.

OCPA and its staff are considering all legal options to remedy this abuse and will have further comment in the future.

The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) is a free-market think tank that works to promote the flourishing of the people of Oklahoma by advancing principles and policies that support free enterprise, limited government, individual initiative, and personal responsibility.


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