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Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced Wednesday that he will be stepping down from his position effective June 1st. He released the following statement in a news release:
“It has been a distinct and absolute privilege of a lifetime to serve as the state’s attorney general. Regrettably, certain personal matters that are becoming public will become a distraction for this office. The office of attorney general is one of the most important positions in state government. I cannot allow a personal issue to overshadow the vital work the attorneys, agents and support staff do on behalf of Oklahomans.
“I thank those who entrusted me to fulfill this role and I am very sorry that I will no longer be here. I also extend a very heartfelt appreciation for those employees who chose public service and to work for the office. The employees in the Attorney General’s Office are dedicated, driven and go to bed every night and wake up every morning with the safety of Oklahomans as their magnetic north. I truly appreciate everything they do.”
Oklahoma governor responds to resignation letter
Gov. Kevin Stitt released the following statement after the release of Hunter’s announcement:
“The Attorney General informed me of his resignation this morning and I respect his decision to do what he thinks is best for his office and the State of Oklahoma. I know he is going through a difficult time and I wish him, his family, and the employees of his office well.”
Hunter’s last two positions were both positions that were appointed by the Governor. He was appointed Secretary of State in 1999 by Frank Keating and then appointed Attorney General in 2017 by Mary Fallin once Scott Pruitt resigned.
Hunter has gained tepid support from some Indigenous communities after he refused to support Governor Kevin Stitt’s ill-conceived attempt to force the Tribes to renegotiate a gaming contract.
Reports point to extramarital affair
But AG Hunter came under fire last summer when he told local media supporters of death-row inmate Julius Jones have been spreading misinformation about his case.
Julius Jones has spent the last 20 years on Oklahoma’s death row despite maintaining his innocence. A commutation hearing has been set for September 13 highlighting Jones’ inadequate counsel at the time of the trial as well as a racist juror. The lawyer Jones was appointed had never tried a capital murder case before, didn’t let Jones or anyone from his family testify, and failed to expose evidence and an alibi pointing to Jones’ innocence.
Hours after Hunter’s announcement, articles began to surface alleging the soon-to-be-former Oklahoma Attorney General filed for divorce from his wife of roughly 40 years amid reports of an extramarital affair.