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Chicken-Fried News: Council charges

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We at Chicken-Fried News were a bit confused when we read Norman Transcript’s headline “City Council member charged with felony” posted online Dec. 10.

Initially, we wondered if the council member was listening when taking his oath of office.

While the oath of office might not specifically call for reciting, “I will not be charged with a felony,” we think it’s implied.

After all, you solemnly swear a few things in front of a judge.

That should translate to stay clear of criminal activity.

Nevertheless, we were floored to read the alleged felony had to do with a place called Friendly Market, which sounds like a grocery store located in The Happiest Place on Earth — Disneyland.

Having not read the entire first line of the article, we Googled “Friendly Market Norman” and came across its Twitter page.

The business doesn’t tweet much, but it did give out free snow cones in June. #awesome

That got us thinking. Who wouldn’t want to work at a business that hands out free snow cones?

Maybe that’s what sparked Norman City Council member Stephen Holman’s interest in the small business. He was hired in September.

A month before his first day, Holman vocalized his opposition of asset forfeiture laws in a council meeting.

He also spoke against the Norman Police Department’s interest in purchasing a $775,000 armored BearCar, according to the Norman newspaper.

Chicken-Fried News water-cooler gossip veered toward the impression that Holman seemed to have a target on his back and Friendly Market, an alternative lifestyle store, fell in the crossfire.

Dec. 1, police seized cash and the store’s inventory of glass pipes.

Ten days later, seven counts were filed against Holman, who manages the shop, and storeowner Robert Cox.

The two are alleged to have acquired the cash from drug-related activity.

Six of the misdemeanor charges deal with drug paraphernalia.

“Why they did what they did, I have no idea,” Holman told the newspaper. “I couldn’t, for the life of me, speculate on why Norman P.D. and any other officials decided they need to go and serve a search warrant in an effort to try and discover evidence, potentially, of a misdemeanor.”

We don’t know either, but let’s get along and not abuse power.

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