Oklahoma House Speaker McCall puts Rep. Cockroft in charge of committee to review agency mismanagement

OKLAHOMA CITY – Following revelations of apparent financial mismanagement at the Oklahoma Department of Health, House of Representatives Speaker Charles McCall  said Monday (November 20) he had empaneled 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.

Other members of the investigation committee include: Republican State Reps. Kevin Calvey of Edmond, Elise Hall of Oklahoma City, Mark McBride of Moore, Bobby Cleveland of Slaughterville, 
Chris Kannady of Oklahoma City, Chad Caldwell of Enid, Ryan Martinez of Edmond, Mike Osburn of Edmond and Tom Gann of Inola. 
Democratic members of the panel include Chuck Hoskin of Adair, Donnie Condit of McAlester, 
Cindi Munson of Oklahoma City, and Johnny Tadlock of Idabel, 

Speaker McCall said the committee will begin meeting following the Thanksgiving break.