Oklahoma governor, Legislature get huge spending boosts
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House, Senate and governor's office each received huge funding boosts under the state's new spending plan, including a more-than-doubling of the governor's budget.
Budget documents released on Friday show new Gov. Kevin Stitt will receive a $2 million increase, a 121% increase over last year's spending level.
While most state agencies received an average increase of 5%, the Senate budget increased by 25% and the House received a nearly 60% boost.
The general appropriations bill passed the House Friday and is scheduled in the Senate next week.
Stitt spokeswoman Donelle Harder says the increase is to hire more staff and pay many of the governor's cabinet members who are currently working without a salary. Harder says some of the increase is a one-time cost for office furniture.
Leaders decline to meet with slain Oklahoma teen's parents
EDMOND, Okla. (AP) — Officials from an Oklahoma City suburb where police fatally shot a black, unarmed teenager while he was naked say they won't meet with his parents.
Edmond's city manager and police chief signed a letter dated Friday in which they declined to speak with the parents of Isaiah Lewis because they have hired an attorney and the investigation of his death is ongoing. Vicki and Troy Lewis also requested a meeting with the mayor, who didn't sign the response.
The parents' attorney, Andrew M. Stroth, says Lewis' race may have factored into his death.
Police say 17-year-old Lewis died April 29 after two officers who had been following the teen shot him after he broke into a house. Authorities say he attacked the officers, who initially used a stun gun to subdue him but shot him when that didn't work.
Judge sentences last person charged in '16 shooting rampage
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The final person charged in a 2016 shooting rampage in Oklahoma that left two people dead and two police officers wounded has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Prosecutors accused Reginald Laday Moore of selling an AK-47 assault rifle to Michael Vance, who was accused of killing two people in Luther and leading police on a statewide manhunt that lasted a week.
Vance died in a gunbattle with Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers after he was shot at least 20 times .
The Oklahoman reports that Moore pleaded no contest to four counts of accessory to assault and battery with a deadly weapon and was sentenced Wednesday. Oklahoma County District Judge Amy Palumbo read through Moore's history of gang activity and gun sales when she announced his sentence.
"I'm not at all inclined to believe you will change your behavior if given the chance, whatsoever," Palumbo said to Moore. "You had 923 days (in jail) to come up with a better story than what you did. You failed miserably at that."
Prosecutors said Moore also helped Vance sell another AK-47 that Vance had used earlier. Moore said he had no idea Vance had already killed two people and that he followed Vance's commands because he was afraid he would be shot if he didn't comply.
"He looked like he would have killed anyone in his path, anyone that disagreed with what he wanted," Moore said. "I was just trying to disarm the guy. I didn't want him to shoot nobody, so I helped get rid of the gun."
Two others previously pleaded guilty to harboring Vance and giving him medical care when he was on the run.
University of Oklahoma law dean named interim president
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A law school dean will serve as University of Oklahoma's interim president following the sudden resignation of the school's current leader, who'd served less than a year in his role.
The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents says OU Law School Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. will serve as interim president for at least 15 months. The board announced its decision shortly after 2 a.m. Friday following a nearly six-hour executive session.
Harroz takes over immediately for Jim Gallogly, whose short tenure at the state's flagship university included a sexual misconduct probe of its longtime former president, David Boren, and bitter student reaction to a racist incident on campus.
Harroz served as Boren's legislative director and legal counsel when Boren was a U.S. senator. He also served as OU's general counsel.