Drew Edmondson

Drew Edmondson

William Andrew "Drew" Edmondson (born October 12, 1946), is an American lawyer and politician from Oklahoma. A member of the Democratic Party, Edmondson is the 16th and current Attorney General of Oklahoma.

Early life

Drew Edmondson was born in Washington, D.C., and is the son of former U.S. Congressman Ed Edmondson and June Edmondson. He is also a nephew of former Governor J. Howard Edmondson. His brother, James E. Edmondson is a Justice on the Oklahoma Supreme Court. As a child, he grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma and Washington, D.C. and graduated from Muskogee Central High School in 1964. In 1968, he earned a B.A. in speech education from Northeastern State University, where he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity. While a college student, he married Linda Larason of Fargo, Oklahoma. The couple has two children.

Early career

From 1968 to 1972, he served in the United States Navy including a year of duty in Vietnam. From 1974 to 1976, he served one term in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He graduated from the University of Tulsa Law School in 1978. That same year, he joined the Muskogee County District Attorney's Office as an intern and became an Assistant District Attorney the following year. Following a brief stint in private practice with his brother, he was elected as Muskogee County District Attorney in 1982, and subsequently reelected unopposed in 1986 and 1990. As District Attorney, he personally prosecuted cases ranging from DUI to death penalty. He resigned in 1992, half way through his third term and reentered private practice.

Attorney General

Edmondson was elected as Oklahoma Attorney General in 1994. During his first term, he joined other state attorneys general in filing suit against the tobacco industry, successfully advocated for reform of the death penalty appeals process, and created a victim assistance unit. In 1998, he became the second Oklahoma Attorney General to win reelection unopposed. He was elected to a third term in 2002, defeating state Corporation Commissioner Denise Bode. During 2002-2003, he served as President of the National Association of Attorneys General. Notable cases investigated during his tenure as Attorney General have included the August, 2003 indictment of WorldCom and its former CEO Bernard Ebbers on charges of violating state securities laws although the charges were later dropped following Ebbers's federal sentencing. Furthermore, he conducted a corruption investigation against now-former State Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher, which resulted in Fisher's impeachment, resignation, and indictment on charges including embezzlement, tax evasion, perjury, and bribery. Following the 2002 federal appeals court decision declaring the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitututional, he joined several other state attorneys general in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision. He was elected to a record-breaking fourth term in the 2006 election, running against Republican James Dunn in the general election. Late 2007 finds Edmondson embroiled in controversy over the October 2, 2007 indictment of three activists - Paul Jacob, Susan Johnson, and Rick Carpenter — associated with a group Citizens in Charge advocating ballot initiatives dealing with financial transparency and spending controls upon state government. The indictees characterize the indictments as a fatuous interpretation of a vague and probably unconstitutional law concerning residency requirements for those circulating Oklahoma ballot initiative petitions to silence the right of petition for redress of grievances; as of November 18, Edmondson has not released comments upon the matter.

References

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