OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced on Tuesday the appointment of Kenneth Morgan Stoner to fill the Office 4 district judge vacancy in Oklahoma County.
Stoner is replacing former District Judge Bryan Dixon, who retired last year after serving 31 years on the bench.
Stoner’s appointment is effective immediately, according to the governor's office.
A swearing-in ceremony will be scheduled later.
Stoner, of Oklahoma City, has been in private practice since 2006, focusing on matters including corporate, entertainment, and criminal law. In the last several years, Stoner has concentrated on working with clients suffering from addiction and mental health issues, and has earned distinction for his innovative approach to handling such cases. He began his legal career in 2001 in the Oklahoma County district attorney’s office serving as a prosecutor on the domestic violence task force. He later became a general felony prosecutor.
“Kenneth Stoner is a skilled attorney who has a wealth of experience in the law and criminal proceedings,” said Fallin.
“His expertise and knowledge in working with those who have been charged with crimes related to untreated mental illness- and substance abuse-related offenses will help ensure they receive treatment and appropriate care. He also understands the need for nonviolent defendants to have an opportunity to reclaim their lives while adhering to treatment-compliance demands of the court.”
Stoner earned a degree in business administration from East Central University. He earned his juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
“It’s a great honor to have the opportunity to serve and I’m grateful for Governor Fallin’s confidence in me,” Stoner said.
“My primary motivation for seeking the position is to provide leadership to our drug, mental health and diversion courts. We are certainly moving in the right direction, but more can be done to strengthen and expand these courts. I believe the right conditions exist for us to create nationally recognized programs in these critical areas. We need to build additional public-private partnerships and explore ways that technology can help. Addiction is the public health crisis of our time, and is a significant underlying factor in the majority of cases at our courthouse. We can’t wait for somebody else to solve this problem for us. We have to be responsibly creative and innovate in this area.”
Stoner is on the board of directors for the Oklahoma County Bar Association and the UPTown 23rd Development District. He is a member of the Oklahoma Behavioral Health Association, Addiction and Mental Health Professionals of Oklahoma and Lawyers against Domestic Abuse. He is also active in Parents Helping Parents, and Troop 78 of the Boy Scouts of America.
“In the last 10 years, scientific research has discovered more about the human brain and causes of our behavior than in all of history combined,” he said. “In some way, our approach to addiction has been stuck in models that have not evolved with research. We are experiencing a watershed moment where we are beginning to embrace a paradigm shift, moving to a more effective understanding of addiction and recovery.”
Stoner said he was brought up in a culture of service to his state and country.
“My great-great grandfather, Dick T. Morgan, was elected to five terms as a congressman from Oklahoma, serving from 1909 to 1920,” he said. “President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him to oversee the federal land offices where the land runners would register their claims. My other great-great grandfather, Elias McLeod Landrum, was a leader of the Cherokee Nation who also served in the first Oklahoma Senate.”
Stoner, a member of the Cherokee Nation, and his wife, Barbara, reside in the Oakdale area of Oklahoma City with their sons, Maxwell, Will and Sam. His wife is also an attorney, serving as a law clerk to U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard Jones.
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