Ponca City, OK

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No indictments in Oklahoma Health Department investigation

The Associated Press - May 17, 2018 4:13 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma’s multicounty grand jury has declined to issue criminal indictments following an investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement at the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

The grand jury issued a 32-page report Thursday that followed a six-month investigation. The report indicates the agency was never insolvent and that the Legislature’s decision to make an emergency $30 million appropriation to the agency was unnecessary.

The report also indicates that the agency’s elimination of almost 200 jobs was unnecessary and that the department had enough money to pay for the positions.

The grand jury investigation began shortly after the resignation of former Oklahoma Health Commissioner Terry Cline. Cline stepped down in October after the state Board of Health accused him of mismanaging the department’s finances. His chief deputy, Julie Cox-Kain, also resigned.

The Commissioners of Health since Cline took office include:

  • June 30, 2009 – October 30, 2017
    Terry L. Cline, Ph.D.
  • October 31, 2017 – February 13, 2018
    Preston L. Doerflinger (Interim Commissioner)
  • February 13, 2018 – April 1, 2018
    Brian Downs (Acting Commissioner)
  • April 2, 2018 – present
    Tom Bates (Interim Commissioner)

Grand Jury Findings:

 

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