Zumwalt Responds To Audit, Calls For Her Resignation

Zumwalt joined News 9 to share her side of the story, and says resignation is not part of her plan.

Wednesday, April 24th 2024, 11:23 am

By: News 9


Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond has called for the resignation of the State Tourism Secretary, Shelley Zumwalt, after an audit was released Tuesday. Zumwalt joined News 9 to share her side of the story, and says resignation is not part of her plan.

The audit alleges Zumwalt, while working with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, steered millions of dollars in state contracts to a software company where her husband is the vice president, and that she did not disclose that her husband worked there.

“Well, first of all, I'd like to say I have not spoken with the attorney general or the state auditor about this issue,” Zumwalt said. “I've been a part of audits before and in general, one of the rules is you have to send the audit to the people mentioned in there or the agencies and get a response. I found out yesterday at four o'clock from a reporter that this investigation was even going on. There's inaccuracies in that audit that I'd love to clear up.”

The audit claims that payments were transacted by the OESC and signed by Shelley Zumwalt, as the director, in May of 2020. The audit says that by April of 2022 that Zumwalt had approved additional contracts and changed orders to the company that your husband worked for, P2, totaling $8.5 million. It goes on to say that you checked ‘no,’ three separate times on the forms that there was a conflict of interest.

“I cannot legally enter into a technology contract as a director without OMES signing off on it,” Zumwalt said. “There is no direct contract that is between OESC and P2 that does not involve OMES and the CIO signing off on it.”

The audit states that the transaction involving Zumwalt’s husband is a ‘related party transaction.’ Zumwalt says there was no financial gain for her or her husband.

“This is not my husband's company. He's not in the ownership group,” Zumwalt said. “He is not in the ownership management group, he is an employee there and he's one of multiple vice presidents.”

Zumwalt says the contract with P2 and OESC started before she was with the OESC. She just continued the contract while she was there.

“My state service is something in my integrity that I hold over all other things. I'll continue to talk about this and to make sure that I'm answering all the hard questions because I do stand behind those decisions,” Zumwalt said. “There wasn't a line out the door for that job at OESC when this happened and I am proud of that team and I'm proud of the work we did.”

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