OKLAHOMA CITY —
“It is difficult to believe the Gov remains highly committed to justice reinvestment when she unilaterally denies the funding and expertise needed to successfully implement the policy,” Steele wrote.
The death knell for the JRI group came on March 13, 2013, one day before the group’s scheduled meeting and the deadline day for bills to be out of committee.
According to Fallin’s visitor sign in sheet, at 9:25 a.m. that day, Geo Group company President John Hurley, Senior Vice President Reed Smith and Geo Group lobbyist Tonya Lee met with Mullins in the governor’s office.
At 11:56 a.m., Northrup emailed Fallin’s legislative director Craig Perry with the subject line of “urgent” asking if she could get information on whether House Bill 2042 had made it out of committee.
About a half-hour later, Northrup sent an email to Altshuler and Communications Director Alex Weintz about the bill, saying, “We need to know and if I need to make a call to make it move I will…”
“Let me know, but I think this is worth asking a favor on before tomorrows (sic) JRI meeting…” Northrup wrote to Altshuler later that afternoon.
The bill made it out of committee and passed the House that night. Fallin’s office issued a press release thanking the House and reaffirming her commitment to JRI.
The next morning, Steele and Prater resigned from the JRI group, saying the governor’s office had not taken the initiative seriously and had been dishonest. The JRI oversight group disbanded.
Mullins said the goal was not to get Steele and Prater to resign. “He and David Prater are both very passionate people. They had a view on how it should be done. We are passionate people and we have a view on how it should be done,” Mullins said.