Oklahoma AG Resigns Following Reports of Affair In this Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, file photo, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter speaks during a news conference in Oklahoma City. (Sue Ogrocki/AP)
By Brian Freeman | Wednesday, 26 May 2021 02:20 PM
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter announced on Wednesday that he will resign on June 1 to avoid distractions from “certain personal matters that are becoming public,” The Hill reported.
Hunter, a Republican who has been the state’s attorney general since 2017, filed for divorce from his wife on Friday amid reports of an extramarital affair.
“The office of attorney general is one of the most important positions in state government,” Hunter said in a statement. “I cannot allow a personal issue to overshadow the vital work the attorneys, agents and support staff do on behalf of Oklahomans.”
He added that “It has been a distinct and absolute privilege of a lifetime to serve as the state’s attorney general. I thank those who entrusted me to fulfill this role, and I am very sorry that I will no longer be here.”
Cheryl Hunter, who had been married to Hunter for 39 years, told The Oklahoman that "I am heartbroken and my priorities are to take care of my sons, my daughter-in-law, my grandson and my parents."
The Oklahoman reported that it had submitted questions to the attorney general Tuesday evening about an alleged extramarital affair that it had confirmed.
The sources said the alleged affair was with a state employee who did not work in the attorney general’s office.
Hunter was appointed to his position four years ago to complete the term of Scott Pruitt, who went to Washington to serve as Environmental Protection Agency administrator in the Trump administration.
Hunter won election to a full term in 2018, and had planned to seek reelection next year.
Last week Hunter lauded the U.S. Supreme Court for agreeing to hear an appeal comnnected to a Mississippi law that permits a woman to obtain an abortion only in cases of a medical emergency or severe abnormality in the fetus, according to CNBC.
Hunter was one of 18 state attorneys general who requested that the court hear the case in the hope that a decision would help uphold his own state’s restrict abortion law, which bars the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
His resignation comes as Oklahoma is also involved in lawsuits against top opioid manufacturers.
Two years ago, Hunter helped win a victory for Oklahoma when a judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay hundreds of millions of dollars due to the company’s role in the state’s opioid epidemic, according to The Hill.
Last January, he filed another lawsuit against McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen, accusing the companies of delivering more than 34 billion doses of narcotics to Oklahoma and throughout the United States between 2006 and 2012 without flagging suspicious drug orders.