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Attorney and Son Of Payne County District Court Judge Arrested for Second DUI
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Attorney and Son Of Payne County District Court Judge Arrested for Second DUI

Ky Dowdy Corley, Phillip C. Corley, All-Black Towns, Black Towns, Oklahoma Black Towns, Historic Black Towns, Gary Lee, M. David Goodwin, James Goodwin, Ross Johnson, Sam Levrault, Kimberly Marsh, John Neal, African American News, Black News, African American Newspaper, Black Owned Newspaper, The Oklahoma Eagle, The Eagle, Black Wall Street, Tulsa Race Massacre, 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

LOCAL & STATE


Ky Dowdy Corley, an Oklahoma attorney, was arrested on March 21, 2024, by Stillwater police and charged with DUI-driving under the influence of alcohol, transporting an open container of beer, and speeding. He is the son of Payne County District Court Judge Phillip C. Corley and a relative of Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond.

Stillwater police arrest records indicate that Corley was booked into the Payne County Jail on March 22, where he posted a $1,000 bond and was released.

According to the Stillwater Police Department, the case has been forwarded to the Creek County District Attorney’s Office. The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office told The Oklahoma Eagle the transfer was made in part because of the involvement of Judge Corley.

Phillip C. Corley is generally considered to being a conservative administrative judge for the Ninth Oklahoma District Court, including Logan and Payne counties. Judge Corley has a record of passing harsh and lengthy sentences to repeat offenders arrested for violations similar to Ky Corley’s. Corley is a practicing attorney formally associated with Baker, Ihrig, and Corley P.C. law firm in Stillwater, Okla.

Some members of the local minority community are watching the Corley case closely and have questioned whether it will be another instance of “Justice for some” but not “Justice for all.”

Max Cook, district attorney of Creek County, confirmed that his office was assigned the case by the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office after the Payne County District Attorney’s Office recused itself in the matter. District Attorney Cook stated that his office would have no further comment at this time based on the status of the case as an ongoing investigation.

He added that the matter was still “under review.” Ky Corley appeared before Payne County District Court Special Judge Katherine E. Thomas shortly after his arrest. At that hearing, the matter was passed to a later docket for June of this year. Though this appearance was confirmed by District Attorney Cook, neither the Oklahoma Supreme Court Network (OSCN) nor the Payne County Court Clerk’s Office have any record of the hearing.

This is the second time Ky Corley has been arrested for a charge resulting from a DUI. Court records show that in February 2020, Corley entered an Alford Plea before District Judge Elizabeth Kerr of the Oklahoma County District Court in Case Number CM-2018-1456, for the charge of driving under the influence. The conviction stemmed from an arrest made by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol in January 2018 after Corley was involved in an automobile accident in a construction zone. Former Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater handled the case.

See Also
Eva Coleman, National Association of Black Journalists, NABJ, NABJ Tulsa, All-Black Towns, Black Towns, Oklahoma Black Towns, Historic Black Towns, Gary Lee, M. David Goodwin, James Goodwin, Ross Johnson, Sam Levrault, Kimberly Marsh, John Neal, African American News, Black News, African American Newspaper, Black Owned Newspaper, The Oklahoma Eagle, The Eagle, Black Wall Street, Tulsa Race Massacre, 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Corley was sentenced and received a deferred sentence of one year until February 2021. The arrest launched an investigation by the Oklahoma Bar Association, Case Number SCBD-6902 that led to a disciplinary hearing for violation of Rule 7 of the OBA Rules Governing Disciplinary Proceedings (RGDP). In his response to the OBA, Corley admitted he had consumed alcohol during dinner and was taking a prescription for Adderall but argued this in no way played a role in the accident, which led to his arrest. Despite the arrest and subsequent conviction, the OBA found insufficient cause to proceed, and no final order of discipline was issued. 

The Oklahoma Eagle attempted to contact Ky Corley, but he was unavailable for comment. The Oklahoma Bar Association was approached for comment but did not respond to this request.

C.J. Webber, a contributor to the The Oklahoma Eagle, is a photojournalist based in Norman, Okla.

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