OKLAHOMA CITY (17 January 2017) – The second of three Democrats appointed to the Special Investigation Committee exploring sexual harassment claims against two incumbent House members announced he will not attend today’s closed-door meeting of the panel.

Rep. Steve Kouplen, D-Beggs, informed Rep. Josh Cockroft, R-Wanette, the panel’s chairman, that he would be absent “due to the requirement of signing a non-disclosure agreement.”

The fact that only current House members will be investigated by the panel, coupled with “the non-ability to have a minority report,” are of “great concern to me,” Kouplen explained. “I served on a previous investigation with basically the same rules and non-disclosure agreement, and did not believe it provided the transparency that was expected or deserved.”

Since the Republican majority “controls all aspects involved in this investigation, including the HR Department, I find it hard to imagine there will not be disagreements on some issues,” Kouplen wrote in a letter to Cockroft. “Yet without majority agreement, a different viewpoint will be silenced.”

Rep. David Perryman, D-Chickasha, announced last week that he would not sign the confidentiality agreement demanded by Cockroft. Perryman branded it a “gag order” and said it “undermines the independence that I have as a legislator.”


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