OKLAHOMA CITY - Saying the Oklahoma Supreme Court "has stopped Governor Keating's power grab dead in its tracks," Senator Darryl Roberts is applauding the high court for a dismissing a lawsuit that would have given the Governor unprecedented control over state appointments and pension systems.
"The message from the court was pretty clear. The Governor's power grab is illegal, no matter what kind of face he tries to put on it," said Senator Roberts.
Governor Keating was attempting to strip the Legislature of its appointment powers, giving him sole control over boards and commissions, and the billions of dollars they administer. Senator Roberts and other legislative leaders successfully blocked the power grab, pointing out that Oklahoma's founding fathers divided appointment authority between the executive and legislative branches for a reason. They feared the abuse that could result by concentrating power in one person's hands.
"It's dangerous to give one person that kind of absolute power. Look what happened to Claudette Henry when she had control of billions of dollars in the State Treasurer's office. We've been trying to protect against those kind of abuses, but Governor Keating was trying to create a system that would have opened the door to all kinds of shenanigans," said Senator Roberts
"We were able to uphold the will of our founding fathers and stop the Governor's power grab cold. This is a defeat for Governor Keating, but a victory for the people of Oklahoma, especially our state retirees."
Had the lawsuit been successful, Governor Keating would have assumed sole control over state pension funds, giving him the power to dictate how the billions of dollars were invested and administered.
"The best part of this court victory is the fact that we've been able to protect the pensions of thousands of state retirees. They won't have to be looking over their shoulder, wondering what the Governor is doing with their retirement funds. Their money is safe and sound," said Senator Roberts.