Oklahoma Workers' Comp Judge Finds In Attorney’s Favor After Job Offer


Oklahoma City, OK (WorkersCompensation.com) - A workers' compensation court judge violated a state ethics rule when he issued a written decision in favor of an attorney he plans to go work for after leaving the bench.

Judge Kent Eldridge, 63, was looking for a job because he was not reappointed. He signed the order one day after the attorney hired him, records show.

The judge later threw out the order in the contested case after questions were raised.

The courthouse controversy has left an injured Oklahoma City transport company employee angry and still without medical help for his hurt knee.

“I'm pretty ticked off about this,” Olen Harvey said.

Harvey, 63, now must have a second trial before another judge to see whether he can get medical treatment from his employer's insurance company.

The judge confirmed he had a trial in the contested case the morning of May 2 and then met with the attorney, John Colbert, at a restaurant that afternoon. “We sat down and we negotiated the employment,” he said.

The next day, the judge signed the order authorizing medical treatment for Harvey, records show.

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