2017 OSDH Investigation

oag.ok.gov

The six-month investigation into financial mismanagement at the Oklahoma State Department of Health is complete — and no criminal charges will be filed.

A grand jury started probing the agency in November after officials reported a sudden budget shortfall. The resulting financial crisis led to the layoffs of nearly 200 employees and an emergency infusion from lawmakers of $30 million to help the agency stay solvent.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s office on Tuesday said a probe into alleged mismanagement of roughly $30 million from the Oklahoma State Department of Health has expanded to include investigators from the FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a special session called by Governor Fallin for Monday, December 18th, investigations and more firings at the State Department of Health and Governor Fallin issues an executive order to crack down on sexual harassment in state government.

The trio also discusses the Oklahoma City mayoral race and controversy grows over comments from former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys.

Oklahoma state auditor Gary Jones testified Thursday that whistleblowers warned his office of possible fraud months before the State Department of Health nearly missed payroll due to alleged mishandling of $30 million dollars.

Jones provided a detailed timeline describing early efforts to unravel how funds were mismanaged, who knew and when. He told the house investigative committee that an unnamed health department manager came forward in late July to alert his office of financial mismanagement at the state health department. Within days, four more employees came forward.

After a nearly two hour closed-door meeting on Tuesday, the Oklahoma State Board of Health voted to fire the department’s accountability director. The move comes as investigators and lawmakers probe the alleged mismanagement of $30 million dollars at the state agency.

The nine-member board voted to fire Jay Holland from his post as Director of the Office of Accountability Systems. The position is charged with keeping the board and health commissioner informed of any suspected fraud or abuse.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the Oklahoma Health Care Authority cutting Medicaid reimbursement rates 6% to most health care providers and 1% to nursing homes while the Attorney General, State Auditor and even the House of Representatives begin investigations of possible fiscal mismanagement at the Department of Health and lawmakers await an announcement on another special session to deal with the budget shortfall.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the failure by the State House to pass a measure to increase taxes on cigarettes, gas, low-pont beer and oil and gas wells to help fix a $215M shortfall in the budget, the State Health Department says it can't make payroll at the end of the month without a supplemental appropriation from the legislature and a national credit rating agency warns Oklahoma could drop in its credit rating because of a failure to fix the budget.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The new head of the Oklahoma State Department of Health says the agency has been spending more than its annual revenue since 2011. Interim Commissioner Preston Doerflinger said Monday accounting tricks were used to move money between different accounts.