The Moore American

February 5, 2014

Moore mothers sue gov. over storm shelter records

For the American
The Moore American

MOORE — The families of the Moore Angels sued Gov. Mary Fallin this week for her failure to obey open records laws and provide communication records regarding storm shelters.

“These are records we requested in November, and more than two months later, are still waiting for delivery. Mary Fallin needs to understand that we will not stand for the same bullying techniques used by Chris Christie,” said Danni Legg, whose son, Christopher, was killed when the May 20, 2013, EF-5 tornado hit Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore. “I hate to say this isn’t surprising behavior from the governor. In fact, she recently endorsed Chris Christie’s bullying in Washington, D.C. Ahe praised his leadership style.”

According to Legg, the similarities continue.

“Much like Chris Christie has shown to care less about his citizens’ needs after the storm, Mary Fallin continues to do very little for the citizens of Moore and Oklahoma after the tornado,” she said. “And just like Chris Christie sent his followers to threaten the Mayor of Hoboken, Mary Fallin has sent henchmen out to do her dirty work by threatening the state lawmakers helping to protect the safety of school children. Be on notice, Mary Fallin, that your actions and attitudes are not the Oklahoma Standard you liberally throw around. Nor do they represent your slogan of faith, family and freedom. Your elitist attitude and your ideological approach don’t cut it here.”

An Oklahoma Open Records request filed in early November has not yielded documents from Fallin’s office. In the 11 weeks since, Take Shelter Oklahoma has only received a letter of receipt from the governor’s office on Dec. 27, with no indication if or when the records will be made available.

“Last week, one of the governor’s attorneys told us that there was no way we would get the records before the Supreme Court hearing, which is disgraceful,” Legg said.

“It isn’t a stretch to believe that Fallin doesn’t want to do the right thing because it draws attention to failure to help Oklahomans. She has now refused to release emails regarding her decision to not accept Medicaid funding, build school storms shelters and protect nursing home residents.”

The only communication the families have received from Fallin was initially sent to a non-existent address in Tulsa not connected to the organization, raising concerns that the governor’s office is creating additional obstacles for the group.

“When the letter was returned to Fallin’s office on Jan. 3, she didn’t send it back out until Jan. 17,” Legg continued.

Formed in fall 2013, Take Shelter Oklahoma filed a petition Sept. 18 to place a measure funding school storm shelters on a state ballot. If passed, the measure would allow for a $500 million bond to fund the construction of school storm shelters and provide for enhanced school security for public schools and career technology centers. The debt would not come from state general funds, but be serviced by the revenue collected from the existing franchise tax, scheduled for reinstatement this year.