The City Sentinel Endorsement
Heather Coyle is a solid citizen, and an outstanding attorney.
The City Sentinel endorses her in the November general election for the job of judge in the 7th Judicial District, Office No. 8.
Candidates for elected judicial office can (carefully) campaign and spend money for (usually restrained) advertising, but rarely do judicial races take on the kind of “edge” that has come to characterize so many political races in this day and age.
With that in mind, and in honor of her humble manners and refined ways, we will sing her praise – call the words that follow a Chorus for Coyle.
A proud Oklahoma native, Heather is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where she earned her degree in political science, with minors in History and Spanish.
The latter two are no doubt useful in her present work. Spanish allows any one of us to communicate better with certain neighbors, while history provides – especially the application of law – wisdom for the exercise of restraint.
She went on to secure a juris doctorate in law, also from OU.
Coyle has served a total of 20 years at the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office, with time on task during the tenures of the late Bob Macy, Wes Lane and the current D.A., David Prater.
She was, in thumbnail parlance, the “point person” for the county’s domestic violence program, and followed that with many years of experience in Specialty Court Diversion Programs – providing alternatives to incarceration, an area of substantive reform The City Sentinel has long advocated.
In point of fact, Heather Coyle is among the most knowledgeable and experienced persons in all of Oklahoma when it comes to real world alternatives to jail and prison, efforts which are evidence-based. She works with the Drug/DUI Court program, heads Mental Health efforts, a female diversion program known as HERS, our local Northcare Day Reporting program and the successful ReMerge program.
ReMerge is transforming women who might otherwise be headed toward long-term incarceration into lives as productive, working and tax-apying citizens. It is our fondest hope that more counties and communities will embrace ReMerge and similar efforts soon, leading the way to reduced incarceration, better lives and lower costs to taxpayers across the state.
In a past interview with Darla Shelden of The City Sentinel, Coyle reflected on one of the foregoing efforts: “Mental Health Court is an alternative to incarceration where participants receive treatment for their mental health and/or substance abuse needs. The mental health court team provides support and guidance to assist participants in reaching their goals. It is amazing to see the transformation of the participants into productive members of the community.”
Heather and her husband, Billy, have three children: Jack, Lilly and Lilah.
Mrs. Coyle is a wife, mother, public servant and much more. She is Heather – a superb human being who garners the enthusiastic endorsement of The City Sentinel newspaper.