Drummond announces personnel, tipline to ensure compliance
with open government
OKLAHOMA CITY (March 17, 2023) – Attorney General Gentner Drummond announced today that former state senator Anthony Sykes has joined the Office of the Attorney General to serve as public access counselor. As an assistant attorney general, Sykes will work with state, county and municipal government agencies and commissions to ensure they strictly comply with the Open Meetings and Open Records Acts.
Drummond has made openness and transparency in government a chief priority of his administration. Earlier this week, he revealed his office has successfully eliminated a backlog of 66 Open Records requests (ORRs) that he had inherited. Some of the requests dated back several years. In addition to clearing the backlog, the Attorney General’s office processed 34 additional requests since he was sworn in.
“Oklahomans deserve accountability of their government,” Drummond said. “There are times when specific circumstances may reasonably restrict some documentation, such as information that is part of a current investigation. However, the default for conducting public business always must be one of openness and transparency. Senator Sykes’ drive, tenacity and mastery of the law will be invaluable for this position. I am confident he will play a critical role in ensuring the Office of the Attorney General enforces the Open Records and Open Meetings Acts.”
Sykes, an attorney for more than 20 years, represented Senate District 24 in the Oklahoma State Senate from 2006 to 2018. He chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2010 through the end of his term in office. In the Oklahoma Air National Guard, Sykes served as an enlisted airman and a judge advocate general (JAG).
“I am very excited about joining General Drummond’s team and putting my experience to work for the mission of making Oklahoma’s government more transparent,” Sykes said.
Individuals who believe a governmental entity is failing to comply with the Open Records or Open Meetings Acts may contact the Office of the Attorney General at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The creation of the public access counselor coincides with Sunshine Week, which runs March 12-18 this year. The annual event promotes and celebrates access to public information and an open government.