Fallin names Corporation Commissioner, civil appeals judge, health care authority board member
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Published: 12-Sep-2011

Governor Mary Fallin has tapped the mayor of Edmond to become a member of the Corporation Commission, replacing Jeff Cloud, who is resigning to take a job with a major energy company. The chief executive made two other significant appointments, one in health care financing and another to a key judicial position. 

Eight months into her term, Fallin is slowly but surely putting her stamp on state government through the appointments process. 

Announcing the elevation of Edmond Mayor Patrice Douglas to the commission that regulates energy, telecommunications and other other key state industries, Gov. Fallin said, “The Oklahoma Corporation Commission impacts our economy on many levels through its oversight and regulation of a variety of industries. 

“As a small business owner, banker, accomplished attorney and proven leader at the state and local level, Patrice will be an excellent addition as Oklahoma’s newest commissioner. She has proven herself to be a committed public servant and a student of the policy issues facing Oklahoma and its citizens. Her dedication, intelligence and experience will make her a strong voice for consumers, ratepayers and another fair and qualified commissioner for the relevant industries to work with.”

Currently executive vice president of First Fidelity Bank in Edmond, Douglas also has been mayor since April 2009. Douglas will resign that post to join the Corporation Commission.

Previously, she was appointed to the Partnership for School Readiness as Gov. Brad Henry's appointee, and served on the Department of Human Services Board of Commissioners as Gov. Frank Keating's appointee.

Cloud is continuing on the Corporation Commission for an unspecified time, and will assist Douglas with a transition to her new post. 

This is Gov. Fallin's first appointment to a position subject to statewide election. Douglas has said she will seek election next year to fill out the remaining two years of Commissioner Cloud's term. She would then seek reelection, in 2016, to a full six-year term on the Commission. Douglas is the fourth woman in state history to serve as a commissioner. 

Douglas joins two other Republicans on the regulatory board, Chairman Dana Murphy and Commissioner Bob Anthony, presently Oklahoma's  longest-serving statewide elected official. 

Fallin has named Tulsa Judge Tom Thornbrugh to fill the state Court of Civil Appeals vacancy for District 3, where has served since 1997 and is presently the presiding judge. Thornbrugh began his career in public service as legislative adviser to U.S. Sen. Dewey Bartlett. 

Thornbrugh earned two bachelor's degrees at Emporia State University in Kansas, and his law degree from the University of Tulsa. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Tulsa and St. Gregory's University. 

Fallin last week named Carol Robison to the board of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. 

The authority oversees the state's purchase of benefits for Medicaid recipients and others who rely on state government for medical care. Among other functions, the board supervises the agency and appoints its administrator. 

Robison, of Oologah, is a former nurse who now runs a staffing company, the Robison Medical Resource Group. Her associate’s degree in nursing came from Coffeyville Community College; then she earned a nursing degree from Southern Nazarene University.

Robison enters a four-year term and is designated as representative of her industry. She is replacing Sandra Langenkamp, whose term expired. Senate confirmation is not required for this appointment.

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