Oklahoma City, OK- Sworn into office Monday, new State Attorney General Gentner Drummond said he is getting to work immediately as Oklahoma’s chief legal and law enforcement officer. His top priorities include working to improve relations with Oklahoma’s Native American tribes, eliminating illegal marijuana growing operations in the state, prosecuting fraud and corruption, and ensuring governmental transparency.
“I am deeply honored that Oklahomans have entrusted me to serve as their Attorney General,” said Drummond, an attorney, rancher and businessman. “As a seventh-generation Oklahoman who deeply loves our state, I am committed to upholding the rule of law, protecting the rights of our people and promoting public safety.”
Improving Tribal relations
Drummond said he will prioritize working with tribal nations to restore a positive working relationship between them and the State of Oklahoma. Drummond cited gaming disputes and various issues related to McGirt v. Oklahoma present opportunities to collaborate with tribal leaders to reach workable solutions in the best interests of all Oklahomans.
“Oklahoma’s relationship with our great tribal nations has been damaged by divisive rhetoric and combative litigation,” he said. “Oklahoma must forge commonsense agreements with our tribal brothers and sisters that respect their sovereignty and ensure public safety. This is very simple and achievable; we all want good people protected and bad people in jail.”
Cracking down on Illegal marijuana grow operations
In the wake of Oklahoma’s legalization of medical marijuana, rural Oklahoma has been plagued by an onslaught of illegal marijuana growing operations, many of which have been traced back to organized crime and foreign nationals.
“These operations are in direct violation of our laws,” Drummond said. “I look forward to partnering with law enforcement agencies across the state to rid Oklahoma of illegal operations that threaten public safety and damage rural communities. Rural Oklahoma cannot keep paying the price for those who circumvent the law.”
Fighting a culture of corruption and scandal
Despite a flurry of recent cases allegedly involving state corruption, Oklahoma’s previous attorney general had left such investigations and potential prosecution to county district attorneys. Drummond said it is essential that the state Office of Attorney General not shirk its responsibility.
“Over the past several years, Oklahomans have been inundated with news stories of scandal and corruption,” he said. “It’s little wonder that so many citizens lose faith in their governmental institutions. Oklahoma taxpayers deserve true accountability for wrongdoing. My office will be working to investigate recent allegations and take appropriate action in the best interest of justice.”
Moreover, the new Attorney General vowed to strongly enforce the Open Records and Open Meetings Acts to ensure transparency in governance.
“Citizens should not have to sue their own government to receive records to which they are clearly entitled,” Drummond said. “As Attorney General, I will demand transparency. I plan to aggressively enforce Oklahoma’s open records and open meetings laws across state government.”
A Republican, Drummond is the 19th Oklahoman to serve as Attorney General.