Oklahoma is kind of like the Big Brother of state governments – expect the unexpected.
Earlier today, news reports came out that Julie Ezell – the general counsel for the Oklahoma Health Department – had resigned on Friday.
Just last week, Julie was one of the few sane people in the room during the Board of Health’s brutal takedown of SQ 788. Despite her repeated warnings that the Board’s proposals overreached their authority, and would likely not survive a challenge in the courts, they disregarded her counsel and passed their bullshit unsmokable provisions anyway.
When the news of Julie’s resignation first broke, the general assumption was that it was a noble act – that she was a rare individual who valued principles and ethics over a bi-monthly paycheck, and would rather resign than defend a group of unelected asshole bureaucrats hellbent on overturning the will of the people.
But not in Oklahoma.
As it turns out, Julie Ezell – the general counsel for the embattled Oklahoma Health Department- resigned on Friday after she was charged with two felonies and one misdemeanor for emailing anonymous threats to herself.
Former Health Department attorney Julie Ezell was accused Tuesday in a criminal charge of sending threats to herself, falsely reporting a crime and preparing false evidence.
Ezell, 37, confessed on Friday to creating a false email account and sending the threats to her government email, an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation special agent reported in an affidavit.
The email account purported to be from a sender concerned about Health Department rules regarding medical marijuana.
She was charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor in Oklahoma County District Court.
Really? The attorney for the Health Department faked threats from potheads? I used to mock people who said “They’ll never let pot be legal in Oklahoma” but now I’m starting to believe them.
Then again, maybe Julie was just trying to make the Board of Health feel guilty for being total asshats and leaving her out to dry? Or maybe she’s just one of those weirdos who likes to send herself flowers. That’s a possibility, right?
The first email, on July 8, stated “they could show up in force to stop it if the government thought they could take rights away and erase the laws,” the OSBI agent reported.
The email also stated, “We will stop YOU and you’re greed. Any way it takes to end your evil and protect what is ours. We will watch you.”
On Friday, Ezell emailed Tom Bates, interim commissioner of the Health Department, and told him she would resign immediately as the agency’s general counsel.
“I am so sorry,” she added.
Wow. Julie should really consider enrolling in a creative writing workshop. In just a few sentences of dialogue, she created a very complex figure. The emailer was a pothead, but he’s also militant, which we know by his use of CAPS for effect. I’m just curious how you turn him into a more relatable character with a defined story arc.
Sadly, we may never know the answer because Julie didn’t clear the history on her phone:
OSBI investigators met with Ezell on Thursday and asked permission to search her phone. They found she had accessed Protonmail, which hosted the email that sent the threats, at about the time the emails were sent.
— Meg Wingerter (@MegWingerter) July 17, 2018
Yeah, it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that she worked for place like the Oklahoma Health Department.
Anyway, I guess we’ll follow this story and see how it turns. With the way things are going, I think our best bet to get SQ 788 fairly implemented is to pit Mary Fallin and the Board of Health against Chip Paul, Bud Scott and Joe Exotic in a game of Otev.