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Councilor’s future uncertain after law firm says he broke law by holding two offices | News

  • March 5, 2023

Norman City Council member Kelly Lynn, who is seeking reelection to Ward 3, effectively vacated his position when he accepted a judgeship in Wewoka, an attorney hired by the city concluded.

City Attorney Kathryn Walker notified councilors Tuesday night the city had hired the Spencer Fane law firm after the Transcript reported last month that Lynn had recently been hired as a municipal judge.

Walker asked the firm to determine whether Lynn had violated state law by holding dual offices.

The law firm cited an Oklahoma Supreme Court opinion that both positions are offices under the law and determined that “the moment he accepts the new office the old one becomes vacant.”

“The Councilmember ran afoul (of state law) and vacated his Norman City Council seat when he accepted the municipal judgeship in Wewoka,” the law firm stated in its opinion.

“The City Council may declare the seat vacant and appoint a successor for the remainder of the Councilmember’s term or may seek declaratory judgement from the Cleveland County District Court.”

Walker’s memo to the council indicated the violation is a criminal misdemeanor.

Reached Tuesday night, Lynn said he has been asked to step down but has no intention of doing so.

“They were trying work a deal to get me to step down,” Lynn said. “I’m not doing anything.”

Lynn cited a constitutional provision he said allows him to hold two offices simultaneously.

During a meeting with Walker and City Manager Darrel Pyle on Feb. 3 to discuss “resignation,” Lynn cited a section of the Oklahoma Constitution which exempts municipal court judges from rules against justices and district court judges engaging in the practice of law or holding an office or position of profit.

Walker indicated she sought an opinion on the constitutional provision but did not have one

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