Oklahoma House defeats prisons director qualifications bill

Ponca City Now - May 24, 2016 9:05 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Oklahoma House has defeated legislation that alters the qualifications to become director of the state Department of Corrections in an effort to make interim Director Joe Allbaugh qualified for the job permanently.

House members voted 48-44 Monday against the Senate-passed measure . Its House author, Republican Rep. Pat Ownbey of Ardmore, says he may ask the House to reconsider the vote.

The measure removes requirements that candidates for corrections director have experience in the corrections field and a master’s degree.

Opponents say the measure weakens qualifications for the agency’s top job to that an unqualified person could be appointed director. Ownbey says some previous directors who met the job requirements have not performed well.

Allbaugh, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was named interim corrections director in January.

 

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