A judge on Thursday granted a petition by former District Attorney Richard L. Gray to expunge his criminal record.
Gray and his attorney, Marvin G. Lizama, appeared in front of District Judge Darrell Shepherd. Lizama explained that all necessary agencies involved in the previous embezzlement case had been notified, and none provided a written objection to Gray’s request. No in-person objections were filed during Thursday morning’s hearing.
Lizama said the agencies involved had the burden of providing any evidence as to why Gray’s request should be denied, and none did so.
“It’s just one more step that I’ve had to take to clear my name in this particular matter,” Gray said following the hearing. “I look forward to continuing, and look forward to seeking public office. We’ll be involved in the next election. We haven’t really decided which way, but we’re looking at all options.”
Gray was indicted in October 2006 on embezzlement charges by a multicounty grand jury, and the case was eventually moved from Cherokee County to Okmulgee County.
But during his 2008 trial, a judge dismissed the charges and acquitted Gray, saying he had “serious problems” with inconsistencies in testimony, and adding the state had not met its burden of proof for the case to continue.
Gray filed his petition for expungement in April. His attorney said state law has provided such an avenue for some 100 years as a right afforded to those who’ve been accused of a crime and later acquitted.
“The statute affords that person to have all the criminal records filed related to that charge expunged from the public record... ,” Lizama said. “It affords any individual, like Mr. Gray, who finds [himself] in that same position, to use that mechanism to clear [his] name.”
According to the petition Gray filed seeking expungement of the records, the availability of the records to the public “deprive him of public confidence and injure” his occupation.
Gray served as the District 27 DA from 2003-2007 and continues to practice law in Wagoner County.
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