OKLAHOMA CITY – Freedom of Information Oklahoma, a nonprofit group promoting transparency in government, will hold its second annual “Night of Sunshine” dinner on Friday, April 7, featuring retired Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Steven W. Taylor as keynote speaker.
Justice Taylor, who retired from the court at the end of last year after 33 years of judicial service, will speak about the importance of openness in government and access to public records.
FOI Oklahoma will also present its annual awards recognizing people and organizations that have shown a commitment to freedom of information. Another award, the Black Hole Award, will go to the person or organization that impedes the flow of information.
The event will be held at 6 p.m. at The Venue at The District House, 1755 N.W. 16th St., in Oklahoma City. Tickets, which are $50, help cover the event’s cost and support FOI Oklahoma, which is celebrating 27 years of fighting for open records and open meetings. The tickets can be purchased at foioklahoma.org or via this link.
Justice Taylor served for more than 12 years on the Oklahoma Supreme Court and was Chief Justice from 2011 to 2013. Previously, he was district judge and associate district judge in Pittsburg County.
During his 20 years as a trial judge, he presided over more than 500 jury trials, including the state trial related to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He retired from the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Dec. 31, 2016.
The Night of Sunshine dinner is an extension of this year’s Sunshine Week, which was held March 12-18 to promote the importance and impact of citizens having the right to access public information. That right is enshrined in the First Amendment and codified in the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, the Oklahoma Open Records Act and the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act.