Note: This article was written by ROBIN READER (612) and was originally published on her website Broken Arrow Forum on September 13, 2010, and updated September 15, 2010, and reappears here on this blog with her permission.
Update 9/15/2010 – the Emergency Stays were denied. This is not a ruling on their appeals; just on the emergency stay that was intended to prevent the
court from enforcing the judge’s order that they attend their depositions, until the appeal can be ruled on. One important criterion in considering the
emergency stay is whether the appeal is likely to succeed. If the stay is denied, that’s an indication that the appeal may not be that strong. I am not sure
what this means for Ritze’s contempt citation application. Reynolds was a no-show too, so he may get a citation for contempt too. I also don’t know what
happens next regarding the depositions. Will continue to watch OSCN.
The big question remains: WHY?
Rep. Ritze and Rep. Reynolds both filed appeals today. They are asking for an Emergency Stay to prevent them from having to attend their depositions.
They are asking for a Writ of Prohibition which prohibits Judge Cantrell from enforcing a discovery order in Sisney’s defamation case. They say that their testimony is
protected from discovery because of Legislative Immunity, and that in ordering them to attend their deposition, Judge Cantrell committed an “impermissible and excessive
exercise of judicial force and an abuse of discretion.”
We’ve been through the “legislative immunity” claims before. As Judge Cantrell confirmed, legislative immunity does not apply in this situation. There is nothing new here,
except for the outrageous new claim by Reynolds that he is personally investigating the audit.
The question is – WHY do Ritze and Reynolds so desperately want to keep from offering their evidence? In what way will each of them be, as they claim, “irreparably
harmed if he is required to appear and give his deposition”? If they truly have undertaken investigations, and have come up with relevant evidence showing that Jim
Sisney’s claims of wrongdoing in BA Schools have merit, what could stop them from wanting to provide this? Not only would they be helping Sisney get justice against
those who railroaded him, but they would be serving the public interest by providing the evidence we have all been waiting for. How could this result in harm to them to the
point that they should abandon their duty as citizens, public servants, and lawmakers, and sit silently by while an injustice is being done? Our congressmen should be first
in line to put their own political standing aside for the sake of informing the public of the truth. If they undertook an investigation, what in the world is the point of keeping
the findings secret?
Why are they trying so hard to avoid giving their depositions? What are they afraid might come out? And where is William Swaim’s outrage at their lack of transparency
and their unwillingness to serve the public interest? Why is he not asking them why they refuse to testify?
One more thing: Rep. Mike Ritze has an application for contempt of court filed against him today, 9/13/2010. Apparently he was a no-show at his scheduled