Crime

Sending threatening letters to herself: State Health Department Official Charged

From a news release from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

Ezell, image provided from OSBI

Julie Ezell, former general counsel for the Oklahoma State Department of Health, was charged in Oklahoma County on Tuesday July 17 after an OSBI investigation revealed she sent threatening emails to herself. The OSBI was contacted on July 9 by an OSDH investigator about threatening emails being sent to Ezell, 37. OSBI has original jurisdiction over threats to public officials, and began working the case. The emails occurred over a period of several days, from approximately June 8 through June 12. Some emails implied physical harm to Ezell while others indicated the sender knew personal things about Ezell, such as her home address. An examination of Ezell’s cell phone revealed it was used to access the email address in question. Ezell later admitted to creating the fake email account and sending the threatening emails to herself. Ezell tendered her resignation on Friday, July 13. During the investigation, nine OSBI Agents, three officers with Edmond Police Department and two officers with OU Health Science Center were dispatched to work the case and to ensure Ezell’s safety to and from work and home. According to an OSBI affidavit, Ezell was charged with Using Access to Computers to Violate Oklahoma Statues, False Reports of a Crime, and False Preparations of Exhibits as Evidence, two of which are felonies.

The State Department of Health has been covered in controversy for the last several months stemming from budgetary issues that were later confirmed unfounded. Last week, the OSDH board approved rules governing the state’s new medical marijuana referendum that outraged members of the public and triggered lawsuits. 

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