Public Battle Unfolds Amid Health Department Investigation

Tuesday, December 19th 2017, 10:55 pm
By: News 9

The battle between the State Auditor and Interim Commissioner is the Department of Health is heating up. 
The department is under investigation after $30 million dollars were misspent. During a house committee investigation, Interim Commissioner Preston Doerflinger testified he knew nothing about the crisis until late October. 

WEB EXTRA: Interim Health Commissioner Preston Doerflinger Holds Press Conference 

Auditor Gary Jones insisted he told Doerflinger about problem September first.  Today, Doerflinger presented a document showing Jones knew about the problems in August, a document he didn’t provide when he testified.

12/11/2017 Related Story: State Department Of Health Under Investigation

“This has become important in light of the timeline and in light of someone attacking my credibility,” Doerflinger said. 

“But wasn’t this important enough to bring before the investigative committee?” News 9’s Aaron Brilbeck asked.

“I’m bringing it before you now,” Doerflinger replied. 

12/12/2017 Related Story: State Health Department Scandal: Who Knew What When? 

Doerflinger said the document shows how serious the problems were and that the auditor didn’t explain that to him.

“The way it was conveyed to me it was not conveyed to me with the gravity or the severity of the situation,” Doerflinger said. 

Jones said he told Doerflinger about the problems a month after he received the document.

“Because we had to verify the information was indeed correct.  That it was going to cause imminent damage to the state of Oklahoma,” Jones said. 

Jones, who is running for governor, said he believes Doerflinger is the on the attack for political reasons.

“This is a bizarre situation,” he said. 
The State Attorney General’s Office today announced the FBI and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be investigating because much of the misspent money is federal dollars.