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Investigators Accuse Former Oklahoma Health Department Lawyer Of Emailing Herself Threats

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Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma
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The Oklahoma State Department of Health building in Oklahoma City.

The former lawyer for the Oklahoma State Department of Health faces felony charges accusing her of sending herself threatening emails related to Oklahoma’s recently adopted medical marijuana rules.

Oklahoma County prosecutors filed three separate charges Tuesday against Julie Ezell. The criminal complaint accuses Ezell of sending threats to her own government email account earlier this month and reporting the threats to health department investigators.

Ezell did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for Oklahoma State Department of Health declined to comment.

The complaint says Ezell admitted to sending the emails after state investigators examined her cell phone.

One of the emails contained Ezell’s home address and descriptions of the vehicles she drove, according to an affidavit signed by an agent with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Another email stated, “We will expose your corruption and evil. We would hate to hurt a pretty lady. You will hear us. We are just beginning,” the agent wrote in the affidavit.

Ezell is charged with preparing false evidence, falsely reporting a crime and using a computer to send falsely threatening emails.

Ezell resigned June 13 as general counsel for the state health department, three days after the board of health ignored her legal advice and approved two contentious amendments to the state’s first-ever medical marijuana regulations that banned the sale of smokable marijuana and require a pharmacist dispense the drug. Two groups of Oklahomans have since filed lawsuits to block implementation of the two amendments.

Jackie Fortiér worked for StateImpact Oklahoma from November 2017 to January 2020, reporting on a variety of topics and heading up its health reporting initiative. She has many journalism awards to her name during her years of multi-media reporting in Colorado, and was part of a team recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists with a Sigma Delta Chi award for excellence in breaking news reporting in 2013.
Joe was a founding reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma (2011-2019) covering the intersection of economic policy, energy and environment, and the residents of the state.
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