Attorney Conflict of Interest The Oklahoman Newspaper Reports
An attorney conflict of interest case in Oklahoma was revealed by The Oklahoman newspaper. On a recent visit to Oklahoma, I came across an article in The Oklahoman newspaper that was of great concern to me.
A group of reporters for The Oklahoman found out there were workers compensation claimant attorneys that were taking a portion of their clients’ settlements and illegally funding a shadow organization that provided funds for Democratic candidates.
A secretive organization has raised close to $1 million throughout the last decade for political purposes, mostly from injured Oklahoma workers who sometimes don’t even know they’ve donated. Many of the donations to Working Oklahomans Alliance may be illegal, an investigation by The Oklahoman found. The organization could be penalized $1,000 or more for each violation.
The lawyers who control Working Oklahomans Alliance specialize in workers’ compensation cases. These lawyers raise money for a political fund by withholding a portion of their clients’ workers’ compensation awards. The lawyers then distribute the money to various political causes and candidates, mostly Democrats.
Several injured workers listed as political donors to the Working Oklahomans Alliance PAC said they were not aware they had given at all. Many were represented by Norman attorney Richard Bell, a key figure in a campaign corruption scandal in the 1990’s involving then-Governor David Walters.
This is the worst of the worst, as this is taking money directly from the people that need it the most and funneling the funds to political organizations. I will check back to see how the case resolves itself in the near future
Update – From Guidestar.org
This organization’s exempt status was automatically revoked by the IRS for failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years. Further investigation and due diligence are warranted.
Next Up – Trouble in Ohio – one of the monopolistic states for Workers Comp
©J&L Risk Management Inc Copyright Notice