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Infamous Grady County Official Accused of Violating Open Meeting Laws…

It looks like those pesky "self-deserving" Democrats aren’t the only thing that grinds the gears of Grady County District 2 Commissioner Kirk Painter!

He's apparently not a fan of Oklahoma’s open meetings laws, either!

We know this thanks to a video of a recent Grady County Commissioners Board Meeting that a few Ogle Moles sent our way.

During a meeting on June 24th, Grady County District 1 Commissioner Zachary Davis – a rare Oklahoma politician with ethics and values – confronted both Painter and District 3 Commissioner Gary Bray, accusing the duo of regularly meeting in private to discuss county business, and develop an agenda item that would fleece District 1 of valuable road funding.

If Davis’s accusations are valid, it would mean Painter and Bray committed misdemeanors and violated the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act – a law that states county business must occur in a publicly accessible setting with proper notice.

You know, to avoid secrecy and potential misconduct.

The part of the video where Davis turns into Matlock and lays this case is embedded below.

There’s a lot of finger-pointing and complaining, but the evidence he lays does seem pretty convincing. We also get a shout-out to J & W Grill – my favorite Oklahoma Onion Burger Stand!

After Davis made his case, Charles Sifers – the Assistant DA who represents the county – stood up and advised the board that no action be taken on the agenda item because there was an allegation of a crime.

He then proceeded to lecture Bray and Painter about the optics of two County Commissioners roaming around the county having breakfast together:

“Perception is reality. When you boys get together, and the public sees you, they are going to immediately say ‘They’re talking about business.’

I’ve told you I would rather you not meet, even for lunch, even if you’re going to talk about the grandkids’ birthdays, because of how it looks.”

Painter didn’t seem to like the lecture.

After Sifers finished, Painter – a guy who openly admits he discriminates against Democrats and is facing a runoff election this August – asked the DA, “Isn’t perception nowadays, isn’t that even called ‘discrimination’? Are we being discriminated against for being friends or coworkers?”

To answer Painter’s question, no, that’s not discrimination.

Discrimination is when someone is mistreated just because of who they are, like their skin color, gender, or – ding-ding-ding – political affiliation. For example, discrimination would be a county official ignoring work requests from citizens simply based on what political party they belong to...

Open meeting laws, on the other hand, help ensure that important work stuff is talked about where everyone can see and hear, so it's fair for everyone. They weren't designed with the intent to punish old white men, and prevent them from being friends or having breakfast together.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see if Davis’s accusations result in an investigation to determine whether Painter and Bray broke open meeting laws. I guess we’ll wait around and see.

Then again, with Painter facing a runoff election and “perception being reality,” maybe voters can conduct that investigation themselves.

If they decide they’ve had enough of Painter’s shenanigans, they can vote him out and send a message that they prefer their government business out in the open, not over breakfast at the local diner.

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.

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