Board of Health accepts Doerflinger’s resignation; names Downs as acting commissioner
Team Radio Marketing Group - February 13, 2018 4:51 pm
The Oklahoma State Board of Health voted to accept the resignation of Oklahoma State Department of Health Interim Commission Preston Doerflinger during its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday.
The resignation is effective immediately and follows allegations of domestic abuse.
Brian Downs, OSDH Director of State and Federal Policy, was named acting commissioner by the board.
Following the vote, board president Martha Burger stated that an immediate search for an interim commissioner would begin.
“Hopefully we will have candidates ready to vet in 30 to 60 days and have an interim commissioner in place shortly after that time,” Burger said.
Downs emphasized that OSDH has a team in place that is committed to the agency reorganization currently underway.
“We have a dedicated leadership team that is committed to get OSDH back on sound financial footing,” said Downs. “Our entire organization remains focused on protecting the health of all Oklahomans and restoring confidence in this agency.”
Members of the Board of Health had met in executive session after the board attorney said the group received information during the past 24 hours.
Local news outlet The Frontier reported Tulsa police responded to a 2012 call from Doerflinger’s then-wife saying he had choked her. They have since divorced.
Tulsa police spokesman Shane Tuell said the case was assigned to the department’s family violence unit, but it was closed and not forwarded to prosecutors.
Doerflinger didn’t respond to a voice message seeking comment from The Associated Press.
Doerflinger was named interim health department commissioner in October when Terry Cline resigned as commissioner amid allegations of financial mismanagement at the agency.