Judge to hear arguments in city's dispute with councilor Kelly Lynn

Mar. 15—A judge will hear arguments in a legal dispute between the city of Norman and City Council member Kelly Lynn that could determine whether he continues to serve Ward 3.

A hearing on motions to dismiss from both parties is set for 11 a.m. April 5 before Cleveland County District Court Judge Leah Edwards.

Last month, the city asked the court to decide whether Lynn violated state law when he accepted a position as municipal court judge in Wewoka while serving on the council.

An outside law firm hired by the city concluded last month that Lynn violated state law when he accepted the judgeship and should vacate his council seat.

The city filed a motion for declaratory judgement in Cleveland County District Court on Election Day, two hours before the polls closed.

Lynn lost his reelection bid. His current term does not expire until the first Tuesday in July, according the City Charter.

Lynn has refused to step down, citing an exemption for municipal judges in the Oklahoma Constitution.

His attorney, Tracy Schumacher, argued in a motion to dismiss filed March 8 that state law allows exemptions for certain positions, including municipal judges.

Schumacher, a former Cleveland County district judge, contends the law was written to prevent a conflict of interest for an office holder who accepts another position and Lynn's positions do not conflict.

"In no way do the duties of a City of Norman council member and a Wewoka part time municipal judge conflict," she wrote.

The Spencer Fane Law Firm, which filed the city's motion for declaratory judgement, argued in its court filing "none of the exceptions permits an elected city council member of one city or town to simultaneously serve as an appointed municipal judge in another city or town."

Mindy Wood covers City and County government news and notable lawsuits for The Transcript. Reach her at mwood@normantranscript.com or 405-416-4420.