Attorney General Mike Hunter of Oklahoma introduced his resignation on Wednesday, a day after a neighborhood newspaper stated it had questioned him about an extramarital affair.
“Regrettably, certain personal matters that are becoming public will become a distraction for this office,” Mr. Hunter stated in an announcement on Wednesday. “I cannot allow a personal issue to overshadow the vital work the attorneys, agents and support staff do on behalf of Oklahomans.”
He stated he would formally step down on Tuesday.
His abrupt announcement got here after The Oklahoman stated it had despatched him questions on Tuesday evening about an extramarital affair that it stated it had confirmed by means of folks conversant in the scenario.
Mr. Hunter, a Republican, filed for divorce on Friday from Cheryl Hunter, his spouse of 39 years, the newspaper reported. The Oklahoman reported that, in response to the folks it had spoken with, the affair had been with an worker of the state Insurance Department who had filed for divorce in April from her husband of 25 years.
Under the state Constitution, Gov. Kevin Stitt, a fellow Republican, can appoint Mr. Hunter’s alternative to serve till the following election in 2022, Mr. Stitt’s spokeswoman, Carly Atchison, stated.
“The Attorney General informed me of his resignation this morning and I respect his decision to do what he thinks is best for his office and the State of Oklahoma,” Mr. Stitt stated in an announcement on Wednesday. “I know he is going through a difficult time and I wish him, his family, and the employees of his office well.”
Ms. Hunter didn’t reply to messages on Wednesday. She informed The Oklahoman on Tuesday that “I am heartbroken and my priorities are to take care of my sons, my daughter-in-law, my grandson and my parents.”
Gov. Mary Fallin had appointed Mr. Hunter to function legal professional common in February 2017 after Scott Pruitt, the earlier legal professional common, resigned to change into administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency below President Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Hunter had beforehand served as first assistant legal professional common below Mr. Pruitt earlier than Ms. Fallin named him secretary of state and particular authorized counsel.
From 2010 to 2015, Mr. Hunter was the chief working officer of the American Bankers Association, and from 2002 to 2009, he was government vp and chief working officer of the American Council of Life Insurers, Ms. Fallin’s workplace stated when she introduced his appointment as legal professional common.
Mr. Hunter additionally served six years within the Oklahoma House of Representatives, representing District 85 in Oklahoma City, in response to his workplace.
In 2018, he was elected to a full four-year time period as legal professional common after he defeated a Democratic candidate within the November general election and a Republican challenger within the primary.
As legal professional common, Mr. Hunter was one in all quite a lot of Republicans who joined in support of a lawsuit filed by the Texas legal professional common that challenged the 2020 election ends in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin, 4 states that Mr. Trump had misplaced to President Biden. The Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit in December.
Mr. Hunter had additionally made combating the opioid disaster a prime precedence.
In 2019, he led the state’s case within the first civil trial against an opioid manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, the New Jersey-based medical large, which produced a fentanyl patch. In August of that 12 months, a judge in Oklahoma ruled that Johnson & Johnson had deliberately performed down the risks and oversold the advantages of opioids and ordered the corporate to pay the state $572 million.
Mr. Hunter stated the ruling was the primary within the nation to search out an opioid producer accountable for the hurt brought on by the opioid disaster within the United States.