The Oklahoma Democratic Party (ODP) is calling for an investigation into the conduct of Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Attorney General Scott Pruitt, following allegations of the two’s involvement in the State’s disciplinary case against a spine surgeon.
ODP Chair Mark Hammons held a news conference Thursday morning, calling for an investigation into the conduct of Gov. Fallin, Fallin’s general counsel Steve Mullins, and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as a result of a report released by The Frontier and the Dallas Morning News.
The report indicates that Fallin interfered in an official investigation of the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision at the request of former Texas Governor Rick Perry. Perry reportedly received campaign contributions from Tulsa surgeon Dr. Steven Anagnost, who was the subject of the investigation.
“Gov. Fallin, acting through her legal counsel, may have interfered into an investigation and a hearing conducted by the Oklahoma Board of Medical Examiners,” said Hammons during the news conference. “It is unacceptable for the governor to be involved in backroom deals affecting how and when doctors or any other professional may be disciplined. The medical disciplinary hearing is just as important as a criminal proceeding.”
According The Frontier report, Oklahoma authorities wanted to revoke the medical license of Tulsa surgeon Dr. Steven Anagnost, accused of performing operations that left patients paralyzed, in perpetual pain – or dead.
The board later settled its case against Anagnost. Anagnost still practices in Tulsa and other locations in the state, the report stated.
“Think of a public official going to a judge in the backroom, trying to influence a decision that a judge made on the outcome on the case. I think everyone of us would be outrageous,” Hammons said.
The Frontier report indicates when the settlement between the state medical board and Anagnost was ready for board’s approval, Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office, which handled the negotiations, was apparently concerned the board might not vote to accept it. Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office reportedly said board members would face lawsuits if they didn’t settle.
“The governor’s office owes the voters of this state a full, complete, immediate explanation of what her involvement was, and what the involvement of her legal counsel was,” said Hammons. “The Attorney General’s Office, who was highlighted in these revelations, owes an explanation to the state of Oklahoma, the voters of what the involvement of his office was, what they did, and why they did it, and that needs to be done immediately.”
Hammons stated during the news conference that it’s time for a law enforcement official who has no connections to this controversy to “take a hard look, make a full disclosure of the appropriate, immediate action.”