For Immediate Release
Contact: Trav Robertson
MARY FALLIN’S ADMINISTRATION HIDING RECORDS ON RAIL LINE
Fallin’s Department of Transportation Not Releasing Files on Biding of Public Railroad
Oklahoma City – Gov. Mary Fallin’s administration once again refuses to hand over documents, this time relating to the proposed sale of a rail line between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, according to Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Wallace Collins.
“The culture of an administration starts from the top, and clearly the culture of secrecy under Mary Fallin has extended into all areas of the executive branch,” said Collins.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) is currently accepting bids from two different companies to buy a rail line between Sapulpa and Midwest City. Many municipalities throughout the state oppose the move, and ODOT has refused a request for records of correspondence sent to the agency on the sale and records regarding the sale itself. ODOT claims that the state’s Open Records Act allows keeping secret bids prior to them being opened, but the bids have now been opened and the documents have still not been released.
“Considering the economic impact of this rail line and and how many people oppose this sale, Oklahomans should be able to see the specifics of this bidding. But, as usual, the Fallin administration will not show anything. Is everything under this Governor going to be concealed?”
The administration next week will also be asked by the organization A Perfect Cause for an expedited records request of documents relating to the state’s oversight of nursing homes. The request is specifically regarding whether the state is not enforcing 42 different state and federal statues relating to nursing homes. Oklahoma currently ranks 48th in the nation in the quality of nursing home care, and there seems to be inconsistencies between reports by state surveyors inspecting these nursing homes and what state agencies are saying.
Concluded Collins, “Fallin’s administration is claiming that they will review the request when it comes in and make a decision from there. Based on all these past cases — Medicaid dollars, storm shelters, the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, the rail line — she doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence that her administration will actually fulfill the request anytime soon. Maybe I will be proven wrong, but shouldn’t we have someone in the Governor’s office that we know for sure will respect the Open Records Act and won’t win the Black Hole ‘Award’ two years straight? I sure think so, and I suspect that many Oklahomans think so as well.”