By William Burkett, Oklahoma City
Letter to the Editor, published July 28, 2012 in the Oklahoman
The Oklahoma County court clerk has 130 employees to maintain all litigation records and perform other duties. Tim Rhodes has been the chief deputy for 16 years and has been endorsed by all past presidents of the county bar association to be the next court clerk. His opponent, Charles Key, has no qualifications for this position. He is however, well known.
After Timothy McVeigh was convicted of the Murrah Building bombing, Key formed the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee and petitioned for a grand jury to find out “what really happened.” As an Oklahoma County district judge, I presided over that grand jury. Key wrote a letter to the grand jurors saying that the bombing was a federal government sting operation that went bad. In its March 5, 1998, newsletter, the committee said: “A very disturbing aspect … is the overwhelming evidence that … the federal government had prior knowledge of the impending disaster …” But no such evidence was presented to the grand jury.
The Aug. 28 runoff will decide whether Key, who spouted this nonsense, or Rhodes will be responsible for this very important office. Most voters have had no contact with the court clerk and will have little incentive to vote at all. I urge them to ask their lawyer friends about this race and to take the time to vote for Rhodes. His election is essential to the successful operation of this very important office.
William Burkett, former Republican state chairman, is an attorney in Oklahoma City.