Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Lawmakers Call for Two Resignations

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Lawmakers Call for Two Resignations

Article excerpt

The state House budget leader and two other lawmakers are calling for the resignation of two key officials with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, citing mismanagement and misconduct in performance of their duties.

Rep. Mike Mass, D-Hartshorne, who chairs the House Appropriations and Budget Committee; House Speaker Pro Tempore Terry Matlock, D- Garvin; and Rep. Lloyd L. Fields, D-McAlester, chair of the House Commerce, Industry and Labor Committee, told Gov. Frank Keating Wednesday that OESC Executive Director Jon Brock and Deputy Director Glen Robards should step down.

"Last December an audit by the state auditor and inspector revealed widespread management problems with the administration of the governor's portion of the Welfare-to-Work Block Grant and Workforce Investment Act transition funds," the three wrote to Keating. "The problems include violation of the state's Central Purchasing Act, misappropriation of funds to vendors without proper contracts in place and failure to adequately account for the expenditure of federal grant funds."

They said that due to the severity of findings in the first audit, another is under way.

"In addition, the United States Department of Labor Inspector General is investigating the IndEx program operated in Tulsa which could result in the state being forced to pay back the federal government for misused and mismanaged federal Welfare-to-Work grant funds," the letter adds.

The letter also refers to an "inflammatory" e-mail from Robards in 1998 that states that funding for the one-time operator of the IndEx program was due to "one of those infamous back alley deals" of the Legislature.

"In a recent meeting and correspondence to the speaker of the House, Mr. Robards admitted that he was unaware of any legislator, either Republican or Democrat, involved in the Tulsa IndEx program or any other program operated by the state. …

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