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Oklahoma AG takes over prosecution of state representative, wife


Oklahoma’s attorney general said his office is taking over the prosecution of a state lawmaker accused of several felonies alleging he misused his power to change state law so his wife could become a tag agent.

State Rep. Terry O’Donnell and his wife, Teresa O’Donnell, were indicted on multiple felony counts in December 2021. Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond’s office said it took over the case from Oklahoma County District Attorney Vicki Behenna.

O’Donnell is accused of violating the law when he wrote a bill that was passed in 2019 that deleted a section of state law banning people, including lawmakers and their spouses, from applying to be a tag agent. A few months later, his wife became a tag agent and took over a longtime family business in Catoosa.

In a statement from O’Donnell from 2022, he said people who live in his district know his wife’s family ran the tag agency for more than six decades. O’Donnell announced his resignation as House Speaker Pro Tempore in January 2022.

The most serious charge O’Donnell and his wife face is conspiracy against the state, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

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