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Ethics commission, representative exchange words

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At a Monday morning press conference, Chairman Don Bingham said the Oklahoma Ethics Commission did not view statements made by state Rep. Ken Miller (R, Edmond) as a threat. Miller addressed the commission at its monthly meeting last Friday.

The Commission and the Legislature have been at odds over funding. The commission has been vocal about not receiving adequate funding and has started the process of possibly filing a lawsuit.

 "I want you to think hard about your next step," Miller told the commission at the meeting. "What is the likelihood of your funding increases (if the lawsuit goes through and is defeated in court) from there on out?"

NOT THE CASE
The comments appeared to be a threat; however, Bingman said that is not the case.

"The commissioners strongly disagree with any such portrayal," Bingham said. "In fact, because we believe that Legislative reconsideration of the Commission's budget request will produce a different outcome, we saw Representative Miller's comments as a positive step toward fair reconsideration of our request."

Bingham said he and Miller, the chair of the state House Appropriations Committee, have spoken since Friday's meeting. The commissioner did not reveal the details of the later talks.

"I'm convinced he didn't intend to threaten the commission," Bingham said.

Miller was at the capitol during the press conference, but was in a meeting in the Speaker's office and was unavailable for comment. "Scott Cooper

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