The following press release was released this afternoon from State Rep. Mike Ritze, vice-chair of the House Public Safety Committee:
Ritze: Weaver Took an Appropriate Stand
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Mike Ritze, vice-chair of the House Public Safety Committee, said today that Oklahoma’s drug enforcement agency director made the right decision regarding how it operates in relation to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control agents were evicted from a building they shared in McAlester with the DEA, due to the director’s unwillingness to submit to DEA supervision on a drug task force.
“A federal agency basically attempted to bully one of our state agencies into doing things under federal supervision,” said Ritze, R-Broken Arrow. “I am proud of Director Darrell Weaver’s decision to stand up to this bullying and applaud his commitment to our state. Too often, the federal government tries to step in and take over where it is neither welcome nor appropriate. I think it is very clear that our state agency answers to Oklahomans and Oklahoma legislators rather than federal agents.”
Ritze pointed out that a top concern America’s Founding Fathers had when drafting the Constitution was to separate powers in such a way that different branches and levels of government could operate autonomously. The federal government has different goals, different leadership and different priorities than Oklahoma, he said.
“It would be wholly inappropriate for OBN agents to work under the supervision of DEA agents,” said Ritze. “I think the agencies should work cooperatively, but not as one unit. Unfortunately, the DEA seems to feel differently and I hope they will change their tune in the future.”
So give us your thoughts! Did the Director of the OBN do the right thing?