NORMAN — A Cleveland County special judge confirmed Monday that he is receiving rental payments from two private court services that have clients who come before the judge.
Special Judge Steve Stice said that it has never been a secret regarding his connection to these services.
“All the judges knew and the district attorney knew about these connections before I became a judge,” Stice said.
Stice said before becoming a judge, he “consulted personally” with Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn, who has been critical lately of the judge since he started sending offenders charged with aggravated drunk driving to a private court service rather than to the DA’s office for supervision. Those charged with aggravated DUI had to blow at least a 0.15 alcohol content, which is more than twice as much alcohol content of 0.08, required for regular charge of drunk driving.
The district attorney receives $40 per inmate each month, which Mashburn said he must have to operate his office and prosecute more serious crimes like rape and murder.
Everyone involved in the controversy agrees that the overriding problem is district attorneys throughout Oklahoma need more funds allocated by the state legislature so they can do their jobs.
Mashburn is president of the Oklahoma District Attorneys’ Association that is working with the state legislature, seeking a bill to assure DAs throughout the state get the $40 fee.
Records show that Stice has a one-third interest in the ownership of four buildings near the courthouse, including one where he had his office when he worked in private practice as a defense attorney.
Julia Curry, director of Oklahoma Court Services LLC, confirmed that she is paying ACS Enterprises $2,321 monthly for rent. She pays another $1,148 a month for office space housing Oklahoma Pretrial Services that supervises accused felons often waiting in jail until their cases come before a judge.