Secretary of State Glenn Coffee leaving Fallin administration
Published: January 15th, 2013
Secretary of State Glenn Coffee is leaving the Fallin administration to purchase the law firm of former state Elections Board Secretary Lee Slater.
Coffee told CapitolBeatOK the purchase will be in place by January 31. He said the firm will specialize in campaign and lobbying law. Coffee will continue to advise Governor Fallin on the Sardis Lake litigation.
Coffee served 12 years in the state Senate, and was the first Republican Senate president pro temp in Oklahoma history. After his legislative term ended in 2010, Coffee became Governor Mary Fallin’s first secretary of state.
Slater, who ran the state election board for many years when Democrats controlled both houses of the Legislature, has been in private practice for many years. Last week, he was named as new executive director for the state Ethics Commission.
Coffee will continue to play a leading role in state-tribal relations, presumably until the Saris Lake litigation concludes. The Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes have sued the state of Oklahoma in federal court to oppose planned use of water from the lake for Oklahoma City, and to assert water rights throughout southeastern Oklahoma.
Meeting with reporters in the state Capitol press room yesterday, Coffee said he was looking forward to continuing Slater’s work in the law. “He has become the expert in matters involving the intersection of politics and law. As President pro temp I was his client and witnessed first-hand his skill and expertise.”
Coffee is establishing two entities for his new work, “Glenn Coffee & Associates” and “The Coffee Group.”
Slater described Coffee as “a unique and perfect fit” to assume his practice, “someone who can make this a seamless transition for my clients.”
In response to questions from reporters, Coffee said he would not disclose the purchase price of the law firm, as it is a private transaction.