Jerry Fent

ssalonso / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma attorney general is arguing in a court filing that a lawsuit challenging the state's use of its Unclaimed Property Fund should be dismissed.

In a motion to dismiss filed Thursday in Oklahoma County District Court, Assistant Solicitor General Jared Haines argues that state laws governing the fund are constitutional and that the lawsuit is without merit.

Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent filed the lawsuit last month, claiming the state is essentially operating a Ponzi scheme by routinely raiding the fund and using that money to fund state government operations.

Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenged laws in the past, comes out of a hearing room at the State Supreme Court, where a referee heard his lawsuit over House Bill 2562.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An Oklahoma City attorney claims the state is essentially operating a Ponzi scheme by routinely raiding its Unclaimed Property Fund and using money that belongs to its citizens to fund state government operations. 

Attorney Jerry Fent alleges in a lawsuit filed Monday in Oklahoma County District Court that transfers from the Unclaimed Property Fund maintained by the state treasurer's office are illegal.

A lawsuit filed Thursday asks the state Supreme Court to find that the State Pension Commission violated the Oklahoma Constitution because two of its seven members are legislators.

Oklahoma City Attorney Jerry Fent's lawsuit said the pension commission is an executive branch entity. He said state Senator Rick Brinkley's membership on the commission violated the separation of power because Brinkley is a member of the legislative branch. Kent's lawsuit named commission chairman Ken Miller, the state treasurer, and Brinkley as defendants.

Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenged laws in the past, comes out of a hearing room at the State Supreme Court, where a referee heard his lawsuit over House Bill 2562.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An Oklahoma Supreme Court referee is set to hear arguments at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday about whether a planned $120 million bond issue for improvements to the Capitol building should proceed.

Oral arguments are scheduled to take place Tuesday before Supreme Court Referee Greg Albert, who will compile a report and forward it to the full court.

Legislators, Policy Group Warn Of Potential Consequences Of Tax Case

Nov 28, 2014
Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenged laws in the past, comes out of a hearing room at the State Supreme Court, where a referee heard his lawsuit over House Bill 2562.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahomans potentially could see a significant tax increase if the Oklahoma Supreme Court sides with the plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the individual income tax cut measured approved and signed into law earlier this year, a group of Republican legislators and a representative of a conservative public policy group warned Wednesday.

Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenged laws in the past, comes out of a hearing room at the State Supreme Court, where a referee heard his lawsuit over House Bill 2562.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of legislation that cut Oklahoma's top income tax rate is being taken up by the state's highest court.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit that asks the court to invalidate the legislation and prevent it from going into effect.

The lawsuit was filed by Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenged other legislation in the past.

Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority members voted unanimously Monday to seek the Oklahoma State Supreme Court’s validation of the legislation authorizing a bond issue to fund improvements to the State Capitol.

Barricades surround the south steps of the Oklahoma Capitol.
Meghan Blessing / KGOU

An Oklahoma City attorney is challenging the Legislature's plan for a $120 million bond issue to pay for improvements to the state Capitol.

Attorney Jerry Fent filed a notice Tuesday with the governor and attorney general indicating his opposition to the plan. Fent claims the bill authorizing the bond issue was an unconstitutional special law because it addressed only one state building.

Fent's formal opposition to the plan is expected to delay the issuing of the bonds to pay for the renovations to the nearly 100-year-old building.

Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenged laws in the past, comes out of a hearing room at the State Supreme Court, where a referee heard his lawsuit over House Bill 2562.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An Oklahoma City attorney who challenged the constitutionality of a bill that changed the effective tax rate levied on oil and gas drillers asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday to dismiss his lawsuit.

From The Oklahoman‘s Rick Green:

Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenged laws in the past, comes out of a hearing room at the State Supreme Court, where a referee heard his lawsuit over House Bill 2562.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The State Supreme Court on July 29 heard a lawsuit and constitutional challenge to House Bill 2562, a measure that would change the effective state tax rate levied on oil and gas production.

Both parties agreed that the measure was written to reduce taxes, but is HB 2562 a “revenue bill?” That definition is important because this court battle isn’t about policy, it’s about procedure.

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