The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY — The state Supreme Court says Oklahoma State University was authorized to use eminent domain to obtain the final piece of property needed for an athletic village in a case where the university battled two brothers over the future of their tiny ranch house.
In an 8-1 decision handed down Tuesday, the state’s highest court affirmed Payne County Judge Donald Worthington’s July 2007 ruling that authorized OSU to take title to the house a half-block from the school’s Stillwater campus, a decision appealed by property owners Kevin and Joel McCloskey.
But the Supreme Court remanded the case back to Worthington for a jury trial on how much the university must pay for the 631 square-foot property.
The brothers, who operate a small business called McCloskey Brothers, Inc., challenged OSU’s use of eminent domain — the taking of private land for a public use — for the $316 million athletic complex. They also claimed the university’s Board of Regents was unconstitutional because it did not abide by a requirement that at least five of its eight members be farmers.
The McCloskeys’ attorney, Harlan Hentges of Edmond, said they are considering asking the Supreme Court to rehear the case.
“The troubling thing is that your property can be taken by people who don’t hold their offices lawfully,” Hentges said. “You can say that law’s not important if you want. But who gets to decide what laws we abide by and what ones we don’t?”
The McCloskeys have maintained their home was worth more than OSU’s offers of $50,000, $54,000, $59,000 and $62,000 because of its proximity to campus and the task of finding a similar property to replace it. Their final counter to OSU asked for more than $89,000.
“OSU wants to pay less,” Hentges said.
The brothers purchased the property for about $25,000 in September 2005, about the same time OSU began expressing interest in the property for an athletic village. OSU’s regents filed a petition to acquire the property through eminent domain in August 2006 after negotiations broke down.
The Associated Press
- State News
Oklahoma petition for medical marijuana signing up thousands of new voters
Medical marijuana may be the state's newest gateway drug -- to voting.
Miners earn top seed in district American Legion tourney
The Joplin Miners are the No. 1 seed for this week’s Triple-A District 15 Tournament at Carl Junction.
Rep. Reiboldt withdraws from debate about farming amendment
Southwest Missouri Democrats on Wednesday will sponsor a program on the Right to Farm Amendment, but it unclear if there will be a debate on the measure.
Oklahoma lawmaker not upset by convict’s delayed death
State Rep. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester, said his thoughts turned to Clayton Lockett’s murder victim when he learned Lockett had died of a heart attack shortly after his formal execution was halted because of problems with the lethal drug injection process.
Oklahoma governor orders review of failed execution
Gov. Mary Fallin ordered a thorough review Wednesday of the botched lethal drug execution of a convicted murderer that left him writhing and grunting. But the governor said executions will continue in Oklahoma, and the review by the state Department of Public Safety is to determine if medical and other protocols were followed in the failed execution of Clayton D. Lockett.
Party on? No local love in Princeton Review rankings
There's no love for Missouri Southern State University, Pittsburg State University or Crowder College in the new rankings issued by the Princeton Review. Which, given many of the survey categories, isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Gov. Nixon declares state of emergency in Missouri
Gov. Jay Nixon today declared a state of emergency in Missouri in response to severe winter weather that began early this morning, bringing hazardous travel and the possibility of power outages.
Publicist: Andy Williams dies
According to a publicist, Emmy-winning TV host and 'Moon River' crooner Andy Williams has died.
Lions climb into share of MIAA men's basketball lead
Without taking the floor, Missouri Southern has climbed into a first-place tie in the MIAA men’s basketball race.
2.6 magnitude earthquake recorded in Oklahoma
The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded a 2.6 magnitude earthquake near Wellston in central Oklahoma.
No injuries or damage is reported.
- More State News Headlines
- Oklahoma petition for medical marijuana signing up thousands of new voters