OKLAHOMA CITY - Following revelations of apparent financial mismanagement at the Oklahoma Department of Health, House of Representatives Speaker Charles McCall today said he is empaneling a House Special Investigation Committee to begin conducting an investigation into the agency’s use of taxpayer dollars.
The committee will focus its investigation into the finances, state appropriations and other financial resources of the Department of Health and how they were managed. The scope of the committee’s investigation could expand to other agencies.
“The allegations at the Department of Health are very concerning, and I share the public’s frustration with the mismanagement of at least $30 million in taxpayer funds,” said Speaker McCall, R-Atoka. “The Legislature has the authority to conduct an investigation, and our members want that to begin as soon as possible. This is a very serious matter, and I would encourage those associated with these allegations to cooperate fully with our investigation.”
Article V Section 30 of the Oklahoma Constitution gives the Legislature the power to investigate governmental misconduct, and Section 7 of the House Rules empower legislative committees to “inspect and investigate the books, records, papers, documents, data, operation and physical plant of any public agency in this state.” The House Rules further authorize House committees to subpoena witnesses and compel testimony and production of evidence.
State Rep. Josh Cockroft, R-Wanette, will chair the investigation committee. McCall said Cockroft's experience chairing the previous investigation committee makes him a strong choice to ensure a thorough investigation. State Rep. Tim Downing, R-Purcell, who previously served in the Attorney General’s Office, will serve as vice-chair of the committee.
The members of the Special Investigation Committee are as follows:
State Rep. Josh Cockroft, R-Wanette, Chair
State Rep. Tim Downing, R-Purcell, Vice Chair
State Rep. Kevin Calvey, R-Edmond
State Rep. Elise Hall, R-Oklahoma City
State Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore
State Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville
State Rep. Chris Kannady, R-Oklahoma City
State Rep. Chad Caldwell, R-Enid
State Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond
State Rep. Mike Osburn, R-Edmond
State Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola
State Rep. Chuck Hoskin, D-Adair
State Rep. Donnie Condit, D-McAlester
State Rep. Cindi Munson, D-Oklahoma City
State Rep. Johnny Tadlock, D-Idabel
McCall said the committee will begin meeting following the Thanksgiving break.