Okla. House Panel Recommends Fisher Impeachment

August 31, 2004

An Oklahoma House of Representatives committee studying grounds for impeachment of Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher has recommended he be impeached for neglect of duty, corruption in office and incompetency.

The committee submitted its final report on Aug. 30, 2004, to Oklahoma House Speaker Larry Adair, who publicly released the report the following day.

The committee met 19 times in throughout the late spring and summer, adjourning on Aug. 30 with the submission of the report. It heard testimony from 38 witnesses. Those witnesses did not include Commissioner Fisher or his assistant Opal Ellis, who has been charged along with Fisher on felony criminal counts related to alleged embezzlement and the operations of a charity.

Fisher and Ellis had been subpoenaed to testify before the committee, but both declined to do so, invoking their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

According to the Associated Press and the Oklahoman, Fisher “has been steadfast in saying he has done nothing warranting impeachment.” He has also said he will not resign from office, if impeached by the full House.

If impeached, Fisher would be tried in the Oklahoma Senate, which could order him to step down.

The House is expected to meet Sept. 9 to consider the impeachment recommendation.

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