Attorney General Finds No Wrong Doing In Juvenile Center Contract Award Process

Thursday, December 30th 2010, 6:43 pm
By: News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- After the Attorney General's Office began an investigation into a multimillion dollar contract awarded by the state to build a juvenile center over allegations it may have been unfairly awarded, they found the contract was properly awarded.

Earlier this month, there were reports that State Senator Harry Coates and lobbyist Haley Atwood were having an affair. The A.G.'s office wanted to find out if Coates helped steer the contract to the Ada Youth Academy Authority, which was the same group Atwood worked for.

The A.G.'s investigation concluded Thursday that the affair was irrelevant and could not have influenced the bidding.

President Pro Tempore Designate Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, said he is relieved by the findings of the investigation.

"The seriousness of the allegations required a full and thorough examination of the facts and an independent review by the Attorney General was needed," said Bingman. "In the Oklahoma Senate we strive to uphold high standards of conduct. Personal and private behavior should not prohibit our effectiveness at the capitol or bring legitimate official business into question."