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State Board of Pharmacy fire executive director amid texting controversy

Posted at 3:53 PM, Jul 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-26 06:43:06-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy has voted to fire its executive director after state investigators confirmed she is the target of a bribery probe involving text messages exchanged with a top lawyer involved in writing the state's new medical marijuana rules.

The board unanimously voted Wednesday to fire Chelsea Church.

The text messages were obtained by the online news agency Nondoc. In the text exchange, Church appears to offer Department of Health attorney Julia Ezell a higher paying job at the agency in exchange for medical marijuana rules favorable to pharmacists.

Church's attorney, Tracy Schumacher, says the text message "does not present the full picture." Ezell's lawyer has confirmed the text messages' authenticity.

Ezell was later charged with making false threats for allegedly sending threatening emails to herself and then lying about it.

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