Oklahoma Youth Expo to face contempt hearing
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Friday, November 16, 2012
11/16/12 at 4:54 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma County district judge has set a hearing regarding an allegation that the Oklahoma Youth Expo is in contempt of court for failing to comply with a subpoena.
The Youth Expo, the world's largest junior livestock show, is the subject of a lawsuit filed by two lawmakers against the state.
The organization became a subject of controversy after Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders gave the nonprofit group $2 million in state dollars in the fiscal year 2013 budget as an unspecified pass-through to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.
Reps. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, and Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, allege that the funding is an unconstitutional gift of taxpayer dollars.
But Fallin and legislative leaders contend that the partnership with the state is beneficial because it provides educational and vocational training, and promotes agriculture.
Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves has set a Tuesday hearing on the lawmakers' request for a contempt citation against the organization.
Andrew Karim, an attorney for the lawmakers, said the group failed to comply with a 9:30 a.m. Nov. 9 deadline to produce documents outlined in a subpoena.
In court papers, Karim said he received notice sent at 10:40 a.m. Nov. 9 from Jeff L. Todd, an attorney representing the Youth Expo, that it was objecting to providing documents outlined in the subpoena.
In court documents, Todd said the items sought for in the subpoena would not lead to the discovery of relevant evidence.
He said the listed documents sought by the lawmakers "suggest they wish to conduct some sort of comprehensive audit of OYE's operations and finances since its inception, decades ago," Todd said in court documents.
He said the information is not relevant to the allegations.
Todd, in court documents, said the request is unduly burdensome.
"Finally, OYE objects to the subpoena on the grounds that it would require OYE to produce documents that are confidential in nature and or are protected by the attorney-client privilege and or the work product protection," he said.
Todd said the organization was not served with the subpoena in a timely manner and that it did not miss a deadline.
Original Print Headline: Contempt hearing slated in battle over Youth Expo
Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465
Reps. Mike Reynolds (left) and Mike Ritze: They contend that state funding for the nonprofit junior livestock show is an unconstitutional gift of taxpayer dollars