Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Attorney General Seeks Full Recovery of Funds

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Attorney General Seeks Full Recovery of Funds

Article excerpt

Associated Press

Oklahoma Attorney General Susan Loving disclosed Monday she is seeking to dismiss a taxpayer lawsuit, saying it could hamper the state's efforts to recover millions of dollars allegedly lost through excessive fees paid on transactions by the state treasurer's office.

Loving, in an affidavit filed in Oklahoma County District Court, also said she is working with federal authorities to "ensure a full recovery" of taxpayer funds lost through security sales by the office of Oklahoma Treasurer Claudette Henry.

The affidavit is attached to a motion to intervene in the taxpayer lawsuit, which makes accusations against Mrs. Henry and seeks to recover $6 million the state auditor says was lost on questionable transactions.

State Auditor Clifton Scott called it Oklahoma's biggest embezzlement case ever involving state funds.

Assistant Attorney General Neal Leader said Loving is seeking to intervene in the case to "protect the state's interest and her ability to control filed litigation on behalf of the state."

The taxpayer lawsuit was filed by Tulsa Attorney Tomy Dee Frasier on behalf of 11 individuals, including former Assistant State Treasurer Elizabeth A. Rowton.

In her affidavit, Loving outlines steps taken by her office to recover taxpayer funds and calls the Frasier's lawsuit premature.

"Indeed, premature filing of the action by Mr. Frasier may well have jeopardized the ongoing delicate negotiations and some of the remedies being pursued by the state," she said.

She said plaintiffs failed to follow proper procedure to gain standing for their lawsuit.

Scott has stated millions of dollars in taxpayer funds were lost because of excessive, third-party payments to brokers on securities sales negotiated by Patricia Whitehead.

Whitehead resigned as chief trader this summer after being defended for months by Henry, who said nothing was wrong in her office. …

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