Former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson will be the speaker for the Lou Watkins Endowed Lectureship on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 6:30 p.m. inside the Stanley P. Wagner Ballroom at East Central University.
The event, free to the public, is billed ‘An Evening with Drew Edmondson’ as he delivers short prepared remarks before moving into a more conversational format with political science and legal studies students. He will also take questions from the audience.
Edmondson served as Oklahoma’s 16th Attorney General from 1995 to 2011. Prior to that, he was Muskogee County District Attorney from 1983 to 1995.
As Oklahoma Attorney General he was charged with many tasks, including representing the State of Oklahoma in civil and criminal lawsuits and protecting the people of the state.
According to the Tulsa World, in the 16 years that Edmondson served as Attorney general, the Criminal Appeals Section filed 11,500 briefs in both federal and state court in thousands of capital and non-capital cases, with an affirmance rate of 95 percent. The Litigation Section has defended 7,396 civil cases.
Under Edmondson’s leadership, several new units were added to the office. Edmonson created the Consumer Protection Unit. From 1995 through mid-2010, the unit processed nearly 49,000 written consumer complaints and fielded 194,000 calls from businesses and consumers. The Environmental Protection Unit was created in 1996. Perhaps most well-known for a vast case against poultry producers, the unit undertook 142 criminal investigations between 1997 and 2010.
Another notable accomplishment is the creation of Oklahoma’s popular ‘Do Not Call’ registry.
Edmondson announced that he would not seek reelection to the office of Attorney General in 2010 so that he could run for Governor. He was defeated in the Democratic primary election by incumbent Lt. Governor Jari Askins, who then lost in the general election to Governor Mary Fallin.
Edmondson’s uncle J. Howard served as Governor, his father Ed was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and his brother James is a current Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice.
The purpose of the Lou Watkins Lectureship in Political Science is to enhance the ability of ECU to bring to the campus recognized authorities to address issues and subjects of public interest at the national, state, or local government level.
Watkins taught Political Science at ECU from 1980-1991 when she and her husband U.S. Rep. Wes Watkins moved from Ada. Lou became chair of ECU’s Political Science Department in 1985. Her support makes this lecture possible.