By Lou Anne Wolfe
Journal Record Staff Reporter
An internal auditor-compliance officer has been hired by State
Treasurer Claudette Henry, effective Sept. 1, she said Monday at
a meeting of the Cash Management and Investment Oversight
In other action, committee members deferred action on
endorsing Henry's proposal for an independent audit of the
treasurer's office. Those who spoke on the issue said they were
uncomfortable endorsing the initiative.
The state treasurer's office is the subject of an
investigation by the state auditor and inspector's office and the
attorney general's office. Former deputy treasurer Patricia
Whitehead, who also was a close personal friend of Henry's,
resigned in July. Auditors accused Whitehead of arranging for a
company where she formerly worked, Planners Independent
Management Co. of San Diego, Calif., to make money from state
The auditor's office said some $6 million in brokers' fees was
funneled to Planners through Mabon Corp. and Adler Coleman Co.
The new employee is a certified public accountant and recent
law school graduate, Henry said. Purpose of hiring a compliance
officer is to make the office more professional and bring it up
to standards of the banking industry, she said.
The officer will monitor trading activities of the chief
trader "in a strict management-control situation," Henry said.
The officer will report directly to Henry, she said.
The treasurer said she approached some state legislators about
extra funding for a compliance officer, but got no encouragement.
"So, we're going to make do with the staffing given to us," she
said. "These measures will go a long way toward protecting us."
Henry reported the move when questioned by State Finance
Director Jack White about the problems in her office.
"There's been a great deal in the press about the internal
auditing procedures. I'd like to know what those are, and what's
been done to strengthen those procedures in the area where (the
state auditor) recognized exposure," White said.
Ability of the Oklahoma treasurer to expand security trading
beyond conservative investment instruments, such as government
securities, has only been going on since 1986, Henry said. There
have been two treasurers and three chief traders to occupy the
office since then.
During former treasurer Ellis Edwards' administration, there
were two traders, and "each had a little quirk in what they were
doing," Henry said. "So when we came in, we put controls in
place." Subsequent to that, the questionable trades involving
Whitehead came to light, and the latest control tactic is to hire
a compliance officer, she said.
Henry said she would pursue state legislation to authorize an
independent auditor to review the treasurer's office. …