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E. Scott Pruitt, Attorney General of Oklahoma
Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt was elected as the 17th Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma on November 2, 2010. He is the second Republican in the history of the state to hold the office, which oversees 80 attorneys. He is dedicated to fighting corruption, protecting Oklahoma’s vulnerable citizens, championing public safety measures to reduce violent crime and advocating excellence in the administration of the law, justice and protecting the interests of the Great State of Oklahoma and its citizens.
Attorney General Pruitt has quickly risen as a national leader in the cause of restoring limited government and the proper balance of power between the states and the federal government. As a first priority in office, Attorney General Pruitt established Oklahoma’s first Federalism Unit in the Office of Solicitor General to more effectively combat unwarranted regulation and systematic overreach by federal agencies, boards and offices.
Pruitt currently serves as chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) and chairman of the Midwest Region of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). Under his leadership, attorneys general have come together to advance policies and legal strategies that protect the interests of their states from an overly intrusive federal government, with a particular focus on domestic energy security and production. Attorney General Pruitt has led the charge with repeated notices and subsequent lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their leadership’s activist agenda and refusal to follow the law.
Attorney General Pruitt is an ardent defender of Oklahoma consumers, families and children in his capacity as Oklahoma’s top law officer. During his first months in office, he transformed the AG’s consumer protection efforts into the Public Protection Unit with a broader focus on keeping citizens safe. He established the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit to provide specific training for investigators and expanded resources for tracking criminals who intend to exploit children through technology.
In response to a personal call to defend the needs of children who are less fortunate, Attorney General Pruitt worked to negotiate a state settlement through the Department of Human Services that will dramatically improve foster care in Oklahoma. He was awarded the “Hero Award” by the Marland Children’s Home for his efforts to prevent closure of the home and eviction of children who are emotionally disabled. In 2011, Attorney General Pruitt received the Humanitarian Award by Oklahoma CARE, a coalition of ministries and providers who deliver care for troubled children and their families.
Establishing and respecting the Rule of Law is a hallmark of Attorney General Pruitt’s administration. In late 2011, Attorney General Pruitt made national headlines when he took the bold step of negotiating an Oklahoma settlement with mortgage servicers instead of joining a 49-state mortgage settlement that exceeded the proper legal role and scope of authority vested in state attorneys general. The Oklahoma agreement with several of the nation’s largest mortgage service providers included $18.6 million in compensatory damages for Oklahomans who were harmed by unfair practices during the foreclosure process.
Before being elected Attorney General, Pruitt served Broken Arrow, Coweta and Tulsa in the Oklahoma State Senate where he served for eight years, four of those as Assistant Republican Floor Leader. In the Senate, he was the leading spokesman for workers’ compensation reform, lawsuit reform and greater accountability for government spending. He championed traditional, faith-based legislation that included allowing faith-based organizations to partner with the state in helping prisoners successfully re-integrate into society after their sentences were fulfilled.
Attorney General Pruitt used his experience in the Legislature to transform the AG’s Workers’ Compensation and Insurance Fraud Unit and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Under his leadership, the fraud units increased prosecutions, hired 12 investigators, secured more than $20 million in Medicaid fraud restitution and worked directly with Oklahoma businesses to educate workers on fraud recognition and reporting.
Attorney General Pruitt’s record of defending religious freedoms began during his time in the state Legislature with his efforts to author and successfully pass the Religious Freedoms Act, making Oklahoma one of the first states to pass an act that makes it more difficult for a government to burden an individual’s right to practice their faith, especially in public. His efforts continue as Attorney General, joining six states to fight the federal health care mandate that will require religious groups to violate their beliefs. In 2012, Pruitt was selected to serve as a trustee for The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
From 2003 to 2010, Attorney General Pruitt was co-owner and managing general partner of the Oklahoma City Redhawks, the Triple-A baseball team in Oklahoma City. The team, under his leadership, regularly rated among the league’s leaders in attendance and merchandise sales.
Pruitt grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, where he graduated high school and earned a scholarship to play baseball as a second baseman at the University of Kentucky. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and political science at Georgetown College before being accepted to the University of Tulsa College of Law. After working his way through law school and earning a Juris Doctorate, Pruitt ventured into private practice, specializing in constitutional and employment law.
The Attorney General and his wife of 22 years, Marlyn, are raising two children, McKenna and Cade, in Tulsa. The Pruitts are members of the First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow, where Pruitt serves as deacon.
Michael Clingman was appointed Administrator of the Oklahoma Worker’s Compensation Court in January, 2011. As Administrator, Mr. Clingman oversees all administrative functions of the Court including the licensing of self-insurance for Oklahoma employers, adoption of the medical fee schedule for all medical treatment, and developing the Court’s budget. He served in the same capacity once before, from March of 1985 through January 1991.
From 2001 until 2008 Mr. Clingman held the positions of Secretary of the Oklahoma State Senate and Secretary of the Oklahoma State Election Board. In that dual role, Mr. Clingman was the Chief Election Officer for Oklahoma and had broad oversight in the conduct of elections in Oklahoma. As Secretary of the Senate he served as the chief clerk and parliamentarian for 7 annual sessions of the Oklahoma Senate. Mr. Clingman served as the Director of the Oklahoma Office of State Finance from 2008 until 2011.
Mr. Clingman was Director of Property and Casualty Insurance for UICI a financial services company which specialized in insurance, banking, and student loans, from 1996-2001. He served as a vice president for MEGA Life and Health Insurance Company, vice president of Fidelity First Insurance Company, and President of Barron Risk Management services, a third-party claims administration company located in San Antonio, TX.
Mr. Clingman also served as a senior policy assistant to Governor George Nigh from 1982-1985, focusing mainly on tax and budget policy.
Mr. Clingman has a B.A. degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. He is a past-president of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions, the trade organization for state workers’ compensation systems. He is also a past member of NASED, the National Association of State Election Directors, NASBO, the national Association of State Budget Directors, and ASLCS, the Association of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries. He has served on the Boards of CompSource Oklahoma, the State Bond Advisory Council, the oversight board for HealthChoice, the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System, the Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System, and numerous legislative task forces.
Charlie Plumb represents management in all phases of employment law and labor relations. Much of his practice is dedicated to counseling employers on compliance with a broad range of state and federal employment laws and regulations and educating management on best practices for avoiding disputes arising from the employer/employee relationship. He also has extensive litigation experience before federal and state courts, regulatory and administrative agencies, and in arbitration matters involving claims of discrimination, wrongful discharge, retaliatory discharge, breach of contract, and constitutional law violations.
As part of his labor practice, Charlie represents unionized employers in collective bargaining negotiations with labor unions, arbitrates grievances, and defends management against a variety of claims before the National Labor Relations Board and Department of Justice and in state and federal courts. He also represents employers who seek to maintain a non-unionized workforce by counseling management on union avoidance strategies and by providing training and advice to management and supervisors. His clients include numerous municipalities throughout Oklahoma and companies engaged in the manufacturing and distribution, construction, energy, public utility, technology and business services industries.
Charlie has previously served as leader of the firm’s Labor and Employment Group, one of the largest of its kind in the region. He is a member of the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section and the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Labor Council. He is also the designated representative of McAfee & Taft as the exclusive member firm representing Oklahoma in the Employers Counsel Network, a nationwide affiliation of leading law firms providing legal assistance and representation to employers.
Charlie is a frequent speaker and author on workplace issues. He is also co-editor of the Oklahoma Employment Law Letter, a monthly review of new court decisions, regulations and laws that affect state employers, as well as co-editor for the Oklahoma section of the annual guidebook for employers and human resources professionals, 50 Employment Laws in 50 States.
Charlie’s achievements have earned him inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (employment law – management; labor law – management; labor and employment litigation), Oklahoma Super Lawyers, Benchmark Litigation and Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, where he has been lauded as “an impressive public speaker who utilizes his vast experience to effectively defend clients.” Researchers at Chambers & Partners also quoted market observers as admiring him for his “practicality of advice and specialized knowledge of complex legal issues,” with sources commenting that he “immediately commands respect, is always up to date and knows how to handle a problem.” He was named “Best Lawyers’ 2012 Tulsa Labor and Employment Litigation Lawyer of the Year,” an honor only given to a single lawyer in each legal specialty in each community.
Madalene A.B. Witterholt
Crowe & Dunlevy, Director
Madalene A. B. Witterholt serves as a director for Crowe & Dunlevy. Deciding to practice the law where she learned it, this distinguished alum from the University of Tulsa (B.A. 1980; J.D. 1983) serves in the corporation’s Tulsa ffices, specializing in labor and employment, litigation and trial, and worker’s compensation law. Before working for Crowe & Dunlevy, Ms. Witterholt worked as a law clerk to the Honorable James O. Ellison, judge of the U.S. District Court, Northern District.
Ms. Witterholt puts her specialized knowledge to use outside of practice, co-authoring a published work in The Oklahoma Bar Journal on disability, and having taught on topics relating to employment law for Lorman, a continuing education service. She is also a member of the American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section) and served as chairperson for the Oklahoma Bar Association under the same category in 1996.