Get local results

 Current general location:  
Enter your location to see results closest to you.
We do not share your location with anyone.

Oklahoma Health Department’s Top Attorney Resigns, Faces Felony Charges


The top lawyer at the Oklahoma State Department of Health who recently resigned now faces criminal charges after authorities said she sent threats to herself and then lied about it to investigators.

The agency’s former general counsel, 37-year-old Julia Ezell of Edmond, was charged Tuesday in Oklahoma County with three felony counts. An agent with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation wrote in an affidavit that Ezell sent threatening messages to her own official government email and then reported that to authorities.

Ezell resigned her position as general counsel on Friday. She had helped draft rules on medical marijuana approved by the agency’s board last week.

Oklahoma’s New Medical Marijuana Rules Kneecap Voter-Approved Law

Court records do not list an attorney for Ezell. A telephone message left at a number listed for Ezell was not immediately returned.

Oklahoma voters approved medicinal cannabis in June.

Oklahoma Voters Approve Medical Marijuana Legalization

Original story:

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The top attorney at the Oklahoma State Department of Health has resigned days after her advice on marijuana rules was ignored by the agency’s board.

Health Department officials confirmed Tuesday that Julie Ezell resigned as the agency’s general counsel on Friday, effective immediately. The agency declined additional comment.

“I am so sorry.”

In a brief email to the agency’s interim commissioner, Ezell wrote: “I am so sorry.”

Ezell cautioned the board last week against banning smokable marijuana and requiring a pharmacist in every dispensary. She said those last-minute changes were beyond the board’s legal authority and would likely invite a lawsuit, but the board voted to make the changes anyway, prompting two separate lawsuits by medical marijuana advocates.

Ezell had helped write emergency rules after Oklahoma voters approved medical marijuana last month.

The Associated Press's Bio Image
The Associated Press

The AP is one of the world's largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering.

View The Associated Press's articles