For Immediate Release
February 13, 2017
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
Patrick Wyrick Should Immediately Step Down
OKLAHOMA CITY – Patrick Wyrick’s appointment by Governor Fallin to serve as a Justice for the Oklahoma Supreme Court displays a callous disregard of the Oklahoma Constitution and serves as another example of backroom politics. Wyrick should immediately step down.
Oklahoma’s Constitution, Article 7, Section 2 requires that a Supreme Court Justice “shall have been a qualified elector in the district for at least one year immediately prior to the date of filing or appointment.” Patrick Wyrick has been and still is, a resident of Cleveland County which is not within the boundaries of Supreme Court District 2. In March of 2016, Wyrick voted in Cleveland County. To lawfully vote in Cleveland County he was required to have been a resident of that County. In fact, Mr. Wyrick has declared himself to be a resident of central Oklahoma by living and voting in that area for well over a decade.
Even if we believe that Mr. Wyrick changed his residence to Atoka in October 2016, that would not qualify him as a resident of Judicial District No. 2 for the required year prior to either filing for the position or of his appointment.
Governor Fallin is sworn to uphold the Constitution, and yet she has violated the Constitution by this appointment. Patrick Wyrick should immediately step down. What kind of a judge seeks and accepts an office knowing he does not meet the legal qualifications? Wyrick has started his service by violating his oath to uphold and defend Oklahoma’s Constitution. Accepting a position for which he is not qualified is an apparent violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, Rule I.I which requires that “A judge shall comply with the law. . .” The Judicial Code, Rule 1.2, also requires that: “A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the of the judiciary, and avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.” Certainly, his actions do not promote public confidence but rather create the appearance of impropriety.
The Democratic Party calls on Governor Fallin and Patrick Wyrick to do the right thing and renounce this position immediately. If the Governor and Wyrick will not follow the law, the Democratic Party is prepared to file suit to enforce Oklahoma’ s Constitution.
The mission of the Oklahoma Democratic Party is to represent working people in Oklahoma and the best way to accomplish that is to elect Democrats to all areas of government. Oklahoma Democrats are progressive and sensible. We are optimistic about the future, and we are determined to see Oklahoma’s traditional values upheld. More information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party can be found at www.okdemocrats.org or by calling (405) 427-3366.