A former Oklahoma State Department of Health attorney made her first court appearance during which a judge entered “not guilty” pleas on her behalf related to charges that she sent threatening emails to herself about the state’s new medical marijuana rules.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Julie Ezell was arraigned this week before Special Judge Kevin McCray in Oklahoma City on felony charges of preparing false evidence and a computer crime, according to The Oklahoman. She also is charged with making a false report of a crime, a misdemeanor.
- Ezell resigned on July 13 as general counsel for the health department after allegedly confessing to state investigators that she had made false threats to herself.
- In an affidavit, an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent wrote that the 37-year-old Edmond resident sent threatening messages to her own official government email and then reported it to authorities.
- Her resignation came just days after the Oklahoma Board of Health ignored her counsel that banning sales of smokable MJ and other last-minute rule changes were beyond the board’s authority and would likely invite legal challenges.
- The board voted to make the changes anyway, and lawsuits ensued.
- Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter later said the board had overstepped its authority, and the rules have since been reversed.
Ezell is free on bond. Her next court date is scheduled for Sept. 27, according to The Oklahoman.
– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily