Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ethics Commission Executive Director Announces Retirement

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Ethics Commission Executive Director Marilyn Hughes today announced her retirement effective December 1, 2012. Hughes has served in her position for 25 years. She was initially appointed by Governor Henry Bellmon as Executive Director of the statutory Ethics Commission on May 13, 1987. She then continued in the same position with the Constitutional Ethics Commission, which was seated in July 1991.

Hughes has been a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association since 1976. She is also a member of the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL), an international association of government ethics regulators. In 1996 and 1997 Hughes was chosen to prepare and present the Ethics Update on Legislation and Litigation in the United States and Canada for the 18th and 19th annual conferences of COGEL. She served on the Steering Committee of COGEL from 2000-2003 and as Publications Chair in 2000-2001. Hughes then served as President-Elect of COGEL in 2001- 2002 and President in 2002-2003.

In 1994 Hughes received an Outstanding Service Award from The Law & You Foundation. She was also chosen that year to participate in the International Conference on Ethics in Government by the United States Office of Government Ethics, held in the nation’s capitol.

Hughes was awarded the Susan J. Farrell Memorial Distinguished Career in Public Policy award by the University of Tulsa College of Law in 2000. She was recognized in 2002 by the Oklahomans for Campaign Finance Reform for her years of distinguished service to the Ethics Commission. She and her staff were awarded the 2007 First Amendment Award by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Hughes taught approximately 10 seminars per year to various state agencies and political groups including, but not limited to, members and employees of the Governor’s office, the Senate, the Office of State Finance, Cabinet Secretaries, the Secretary of State, and the Oklahoma Department of Health.

A native of Duncan, Oklahoma, Hughes received her Juris Doctorate from Tulsa University and her Bachelor of Arts in English from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

Prior to her work at the Ethics Commission, Hughes was employed from 1977 to June 1986 by Sonic Industries Inc. Hughes was promoted from Associate Counsel in 1977 to General Counsel and Secretary of the corporation in 1979, and added the title of Vice President in 1983. In December 1984, she changed functions to serve as the Sonic Vice President of Corporate Communications.

Hughes was in private general practice as an attorney in Purcell, Oklahoma prior to joining Sonic. Both before and while attending law school, she taught English and French at Union Independent Schools of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Hughes is married to Mike Hughes, P.E., Manager of New Technology, GE Oil & Gas Artificial Lift. Their son William is employed by Swank Audio Visual as a coordinator and daughter Rachael is a third year law student and Editor in Chief of the Law Review at Tulsa University School of Law.

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