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Archive for Thursday, May 14, 2009

O’Neal seeks information in ethics inquiry

May 14, 2009

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House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, is seeking information about the ethics complaint he faces, concerning the hiring of his wife for a House Republican staff job, according to a letter released Wednesday.

“I would appreciate receiving the list of witnesses, including a list of those who have been subpoenaed or for whom requests for subpoenas have been or will be requested,” O’Neal said in the May 7 letter to Carol Williams, executive director of the Ethics Commission.

The Ethics Commission has set a July 22 hearing to consider a complaint filed in March by state Rep. Marti Crow, D-Leavenworth, who accused O’Neal of breaking the state’s anti-nepotism law when his wife, Cindy O’Neal, was hired as an aide to the House GOP Caucus.

Speaker O’Neal has said he had nothing to do with the hiring of his wife for the $27,000-per-year job.

O’Neal’s ethics hearing was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but he sought a continuance, saying he hadn’t had time to prepare because of the Legislature’s wrap-up session, which concluded Saturday.

If the commission finds O’Neal violated the anti-nepotism law, he could face a fine of up to $5,000.

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