The Latest: House committee subpoenas top Fallin executives
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Latest on allegations of financial mismanagement at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (all times local):
The head of a special state House committee looking into allegations of financial mismanagement at the Department of Health has issued subpoenas to three of Gov. Mary Fallin’s top executives.
Subpoenas were served Thursday to Fallin’s Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger, the acting director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services Denise Northrup and Fallin’s Chief of Staff Chris Benge.
The subpoenas seek answers to dozens of questions about financial problems at the Department of Health as well as records in the offices of the governor and OMES relating to the health department and other executive agencies.
Several top officials at the Department of Health have resigned, including Commissioner Terry Cline, and Attorney General Mike Hunter has requested a state investigative audit that could lead to criminal charges.
The chief operating officer at the Oklahoma State Department of Health has resigned amid a string of departures at the agency.
The Oklahoman reports that a spokesman confirms that Deborah Nichols resigned on Tuesday. The resignation adds another vacancy to be filled at the department. Commissioner Terry Cline and Senior Deputy Commissioner Julie Cox-Kain also resigned less than a month ago.
The turnovers follow accusations that the agency’s top officials used “accounting tricks” to falsely present a balanced budget since at least 2011.
Gov. Mary Fallin selected Preston Doerflinger to take Cline’s place. He says after taking over the department he discovered the agency’s practices had created a $30 million budget shortfall.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has requested a state investigative audit of the department, which could lead to criminal charges.
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com