By Randy Mitchell
ADA — A Seminole lawyer eyeing a run for district attorney for Pontotoc, Hughes and Seminole counties left attendees scratching their heads at a question and answer session held Thursday.
William Wesley Choate, also a consulting engineer whose offices are in Seminole, held the session at the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce.
Choate spoke about water and Tarrant County, Texas for 45 minutes before taking a question. The questioner, Ada Police Captain Jeff Crosby, appeared baffled by Choate’s remarks.
“You’re running for district attorney right?” Crosby asked.
“What does this have to do with being district attorney? Oh, I’m glad you asked that,” Choate said.
“They told us not to talk about that here. Did you know that? They told us not to talk about that,” a man who accompanied Choate to the meeting said.
Heated discussion followed about an alleged e-mail Choate’s camp received from State Attorney General Drew Edmondson that said they weren’t supposed to discuss the district attorney’s office.
However, the event was publicized as a question and answer session for candidates running for District Attorney.
Crosby said although water is an important issue, he believed it had no connection to the office Choate is campaigning to fill.
“It has every connection,” Choate said. “Crime elimination, the integrity of water rights.”
Asked what he believed is wrong with the current district attorney’s office and what he would do to fix it, Choate replied, “Wow, if I were to summarize something, it certainly wouldn’t be because the people didn’t ... work ethic and that sort of thing, it’s got to be something of a ... I don’t want to call it political favoritism, but they are subjected to undue influences.
“You know in the law we have a creed that you avoid the very appearance of impropriety and one of the things that compromises this office is, in how you control the complaints as they come in, undue protection of people, going through ... for example, I have seen this over and over and over, a scenario by which nearly every family will have wayward children and they’ll also have children who will establish a home, employment, all that. Well the wayward child shows up on the doorstep of their brother or sister who has a home and they’ll have in tow somebody they found at the bar, you know? And they’ll say, ‘Oh we gotta have a place to stay tonight, we haven’t eaten in three days, and all that.”
D.A. Chris Ross is scheduled for a question and answer session next Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. at Ada Area Chamber of Commerce.