Since 2017, the state's case against opioid manufacturers has been ongoing in Cleveland County District court. There have been countless hearings, filings and many other proceedings that come along with a case of this magnitude leading up to trial.
Over the last two months of the state's historic trial, even more pressure was put on the courthouse, its resources and staff. There were armies of attorneys, legal support staff and dozens of journalists representing media outlets on the local, national and even international levels flooding the courthouse each day.
Normal schedules were disrupted, hearings moved and many early mornings turned into late nights, as we ground on for 33 days.
Typically, that much commotion would throw a courthouse, or any office environment for that matter, into chaos. However, an outsider, or someone with business at the courthouse during the last eight weeks was unlikely to have noticed a difference in the day-to-day operations.
I am convinced this was due in large part to the professionalism, skill and leadership at the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office, led by Sheriff Todd Gibson and the staff at the Cleveland County courthouse.
Everyone performed admirably to accommodate not only my team and me, but everyone else who visited the courthouse during this time. In fact, they went out of their way to make sure we were continuously taken care of while seamlessly performing their typical duties and helping provide unprecedented access to the trial.
The display of commitment to the public and safety of Oklahomans I witnessed during our time in Cleveland County was inspiring.
For that, the men and women at the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office and the Cleveland County courthouse are owed a tremendous debt of gratitude.