Oklahoma House Censures state Representative Dean Davis of Broken Arrow
Oklahoma City — The Oklahoma House of Representatives this week censured Rep. Dean Davis, R-Broken Arrow, for conduct unbecoming a member. It was the second censure vote of a House member to prevail in recent weeks
The late March vote on censure was 81-9.
Affirmative votes came from members of both political parties, as did negative votes.
The nine absent representatives came from both parties.
Speaker of the House Charles McCall, R-Atoka, sent CapitolBeatOK.com this statement after the censure passed:
“As a body, the House of Representatives and its members must hold ourselves to a high standard, and Rep. Davis’ conduct did not live up to that standard. The decision to censure a member of the House is not one that is made easily or carelessly but is made when it is necessary to maintain the integrity of the House of Representatives and the trust of the great people of the state of Oklahoma in their government.
“The House of Representatives has nothing but the utmost respect for the members of our law enforcement community, and we expect the members of our body to exemplify that in their dealings with law enforcement.”
The online news service NonDoc.com reported on Rep. Davis’ confrontation with Oklahoma City Police officers early in the morning of Thursday, March 23. The report included “about six minutes of body camera footage released … by the Oklahoma City Police Department shows Davis questioning the circumstances of his arrest and claiming he cannot be detained owing to the ongoing legislative session.”
Davis was the third member of the GOP caucus arrested in recent months.
He claimed, before cuffing, that because of his status as a member of the House, he could not be arrested during the legislative session.
His arrest came 20 days after his probation for driving under the influence (DUI) in a prior incident.
Oklahoma House Democratic Leader Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City, released her own statement following the Davis censure vote, saying:
“When a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives violates the law they must be held accountable. The video from the Representative’s arrest shows that he was detained related to intoxication and attempted to use his position as an elected official to avoid facing consequences. It appears he needs to seek help and I sincerely hope he does.
“As members of the House of Representatives, we are not above the law and we must protect the public safety of all people. It is incumbent upon us to continue to hold members who violate the law accountable.”
In the Mid-March vote, Democratic Rep. Mauree Turner was censured
In mid-March, state Representative Mauree Turner, D-Oklahoma City, was censured 81-19 for actions at the Capitol in late February.
Turner, who uses plural pronouns in self-reference, had in the view of the legislative majority impeded the investigation of a transgender demonstrator inside the Capitol participating during a boisterous day of confrontational activity.
A Republican House member was doused with water by a demonstrator or demonstrators. Rep. Turner was sharply criticized by the Republican majority for allowing a person to stay in the House District 88 legislative office (Turner’s) to avoid (for a time) encounters with investigators.
The 81-19 vote to censure Turner — held two weeks after the transgender demonstration events — was cast along partisan lines, with all but one member voting.
At the time, Speaker McCall told reporters, “It came to the attention of law enforcement that [an] individual who fled was hiding in the official office of a member of the House. This member knowingly, and willfully, impeded a law enforcement investigation, harboring a fugitive and repeatedly lying to officers, and used their official office and position to thwart attempts by law enforcement to make contact with a suspect of the investigation.”
At the time, Leader Munson sharply disagreed with Speaker McCall’s characterization of those events.
Concerning McCall’s his defense of the House majority’s actions, Munson asserted that the censure vote on Rep. Turner was “a manifestation of ignorance and hate.”
Note: Pat McGuigan is founder and publisher of CapitolBeatOK.com. Founded in 2009, the news service based in Oklahoma City is independent, locally managed and non-partisan.