Oklahoma state auditor Gary Jones testified Thursday that whistleblowers warned his office of possible fraud months before the State Department of Health nearly missed payroll due to alleged mishandling of $30 million dollars.
Jones provided a detailed timeline describing early efforts to unravel how funds were mismanaged, who knew and when. He told the house investigative committee that an unnamed health department manager came forward in late July to alert his office of financial mismanagement at the state health department. Within days, four more employees came forward.
“They were spending within the limits of what their budget was, the problem is the revenue was not coming in as projected and it appears that was intentionally inflated to continue the spending.”
Jones’ testimony suggests that Preston Doerflinger, then the head of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, knew about financial problems at the health department earlier than he told lawmakers this week.
Martinez: Sept. 1 was the day you realized you needed to reach out to OMES. Jones: Yes. I had never seen anything get to this level. I notified Preston (Doerflinger head of OMES and interim health director)
— Jackie Fortier (@JackieFortier) December 14, 2017
Doerflinger says he was alerted to trouble, but didn’t know know the scale of the financial mismanagement until much later.