Allegations Of Slush Fund At State Education Department Stir Controversy
OKLAHOMA CITY - More questions are being raised about spending at the Oklahoma Department of Education, after State Auditor Gary Jones reported a slush fund was set up while some teachers took a cut in pay and benefits.
An audit of the state's education department shows more than $2 million was being spent on chocolate fountains, alcohol and other controversial items, while the state faced a budget shortfall.
The money comes from various bank accounts, or a slush fund, which is unregulated for years. It cost taxpayers $2.3 million and former employees took elaborate measures to hide the theft, according to State Auditor Gary Jones.
Former State Superintendent Sandy Garrett says the allegations of a slush fund under her watch are false.
"I am very disappointed in our new state auditor, and I don't know how he explained it. But you don't put private money in state accounts and co-mingle them, that is against the law,"Garrett said.
State Auditor Gary Jones spoke with News 9 exclusively about the slush fund he's uncovered at the Department of Education. Click on the video to watch the interview.