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Arguments Begin in OCRB Trial (Jan 25, 2012)
An Oklahoma Supreme Court referee is set to hear oral arguments today in a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the Oklahoma Contingency Review Board.

The hearing centers on Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent's claim that the three-member panel made up of the governor, House speaker and Senate president pro tem violates the separation of powers provisions of the Oklahoma Constitution.

One of the panel’s duties is approving any lawsuit settlement in excess of $250,000 when the Legislature is not in session. Fent maintains a settlement agreement the Contingency Review Board approved last month between the Department of Human Services and New York-based Children's Rights should be null and void.

He also alleges the board violated the Open Meeting Act when it conducted a closed executive session on the case.

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