Oklahoma Ethics Commission accuses lawmakers of retaliation

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The chairman of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission is accusing lawmakers of retaliating against the agency by illegally cutting its budget.

The Oklahoman reports that Chairman John C. Hawkins sent an email to state senators and House members on Sunday, saying he's appalled and that cutting the agency's "budget for doing their job is unconscionable."

Hawkins alleges in the email that lawmakers took action because of new restrictions imposed on receiving gifts and becoming a lobbyist after leaving office.

The commission won't be receiving money next fiscal year from the state's general revenue fund. It's being required to use money from a fund that's made up of fees collected from lobbyists, candidates, political parties and political action committees.

The commission is meeting May 11 and may decide to file a legal challenge.

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