Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The AP: Lloyd Fields Faces Possible Charges

The Associated Press this afternoon reports that the state worker's union says it's considering criminal charges against Labor Commissioner Lloyd Fields over his alleged conduct in the union's office.

Oklahoma Public Employees Association Deputy
Director Scott Barger said Wednesday that Fields came into the group's headquarters, entered a private office and grabbed a candidate questionnaire he had dropped off a day earlier. He then destroyed it.

Barger says Fields was apparently upset that the organization's political action committee had contributed $5,000 to Jason Reese, a Republican candidate for Labor Commissioner in the July 27 primary election. Fields, a Democrat, has no challenger in the primary.

OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley, in a statement reported by, said “Fields spoke to a third employee and was visibly upset because we had given the other candidate a contribution. He did not have permission nor did he ask permission to enter the private office of one of my employees and take something off his desk.”

Zearley continued, “It seems that Mr. Fields may have a habit of taking things that don’t belong to him.” That comment was in reference to an incident in which Fields was accused of taking a guitar that didn’t belong to him. This move landed Fields in the Public Inebriate Alternative Center, a detox center near Bricktown. The incident garnered nationwide attention.

“We have contributed to primary races where we believe one candidate is more supportive of state employee issues than the other,” Zearley added. “This is one of those occasions. But, we have not contributed to general election races where we are awaiting the outcome of the primary.”

Zearley concluded, “It shows that Mr. Fields has no respect for the professionalism and fair manner in which the Association handles the political process and endorsements.”

“For Mr. Fields to come into our offices and remove something that is clearly Association property may be a violation of the law and we are examining the possibility of action against Mr. Fields,” he concluded.

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