Letter to the Editor
April 22, 1992
Your lengthy article (April 5) about Narconon Chilocco did not fully explain our reasons for believing that state Rep. Jim Reese has abused his public office in his personal opposition of Narconon.
There are several questions which Narconon and Oklahoma taxpayers deserve an answer to: Reese, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, sits on the board of directors of Alpha II, the only residential rehab facility in a five county area around Narconon Chilocco which receives state funding - almost $ 300,000 last year. While giving various reasons for his opposition to Narconon, he has never mentioned his connection to Alpha II. Why not?
It was Reese's 1990 legislation which opened the door to the legal proceedings between the state of Oklahoma and Narconon. While Narconon has had to pay its own legal costs, Oklahoma taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for the state.
Although there are already laws forbidding ex-parte communication, we at Narconon did not know during our certification process that Reese and others were sending recommendations and opinions to the board without our knowledge. Some weeks after the board's denial, we found Reese proposing House Bill 2001 which would legalize this improper conduct. This boils down to an admission of guilt.
Fortunately, the Senate Human Resources Committee saw the liabilities in Reese's new bill and amended it on April 2. The bill now clearly states the opposite of what Reese appears to have intended - all evidence considered by the board must be revealed to the applicant at least 72 hours prior to any hearing.
On March 31, I sent an open letter to Reese, with copies to The Oklahoman and other media, asking some of the above questions. I am still waiting for satisfactory answers from Reese.
Gary Smith, president, Narconon Chilocco New Life Center