State Auditor Strives to Restore Transparency in Office
Burrage took office only nine months ago.
Burrage wants more transparency than the previous state auditor, Jeff McMahan, while in office.
By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Two billion dollars in stimulus money is heading to other agencies in Oklahoma, and State Auditor Steve Burrage, who has been on the job just nine months, wants to make an example of the state for accountability and transparency.
Oklahoma will receive $2 billion which Burrage has to account for and monitor how it's being spent.
"We already audit the federal money that comes to the various state agencies right now," Burrage said.
Burrage took over the office last July with one goal in mind.
"We're just going to be a professional office," State Auditor Burrage said.
It is a claim that could hardly be made by the office's previous occupant, Jeff McMahan, who resigned in disgrace last year amid a federal investigation of misconduct.
McMahan and his wife were both convicted on bribery and conspiracy charges.
Political watchers and those on the sidelines have questioned how the office was managed and McMahan's qualifications.
"The bar was not too high on that office," NEWS 9 Political Analyst Scott Mitchell said. "For a long time, it's been a joke."
Burrage has the required degrees and the experience, but in addition to his duties, he also has to work to restore honor to the office tarnish by scandal.
Mitchell said Burrage has received high praise from both political parties. Burrage was appointed to finish McMahan's term, but reportedly has plans to run for a full term in 2010.
Each state agency receiving stimulus money will be required to fill out bi-monthly reports. Those reports will be sent to the federal government for oversight.
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