Candidate for Tulsa County district attorney Fred Jordan asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Wednesday to decide a challenge that, if successful, could secure the job for his only opponent, Steve Kunzweiler.
Tulsa County Assistant DA Kunzweiler filed the lawsuit last month that challenges Republican state Rep. Fred Jordan's eligibility to serve as district attorney. The lawsuit alleges Jordan is not eligible to serve as district attorney because of a pay increase that was approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.
Attorneys for Jordan and Kunzweiler made oral presentations to Supreme Court referee Barbara Swimley on Wednesday.
The lawsuit, which also lists Sen. Brian Crain, a previous candidate, as a defendant, cites a section of Oklahoma's Constitution that states in part: "No member of the Legislature shall, during the term for which he was elected, be appointed or elected to any office or commission in the State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during his term of office."
But both Crain and Jordan invoked constitutional privilege on the vote to approve the pay raise, allowing them to abstain from voting on an issue in which they may have a personal interest.
Jordan's attorney, Curtis Long of Tulsa, said the seriousness of the challenge and the runoff election less than six weeks away are sufficient reasons for the Supreme Court to decide the issue.
Jordan said he hopes the court will take up the issue "and decide this issue quickly." Kunzweiler did not attend the hearing.