For Immediate Release
January 18, 2017
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
Oklahoma Democratic Party: Scott Pruitt Chief Law Evader
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s Attorney General is supposed to be the chief law enforcement officer, and yet when it comes to disclosing how he has managed taxpayer money, Scott Pruitt is the chief law evader.
The October report of State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones states that the Attorney General’s office “internal controls do not provide reasonable assurance that revenues or inventory were accurately reported in the accounting records.” Report, p. 3.
The State Auditor says:
It appears management has chosen not to compel with GAO standards requiring annual inventory counts nor the Oklahoma Administrative Rules requiring the annual reporting of current inventory of tangible assets.
Without periodic reports, inventory may be misstated or misappropriated without detection.
Report, p. 6.
Not disclosed in the Auditor’s report, but recently discovered, is the Attorney General’s failure to report the money spent on hiring outside counsel for litigation. This reform measure known as a 20i report is designed to prevent waste and favoritism in legal fees. It requires explanations not only for outside legal costs but of the reasons for spending taxpayer money when there are already attorneys on staff.
This isn’t a matter of political philosophy, but rather one of basic accountability.
The failure of the Attorney General to follow the laws he was sworn to uphold is unacceptable in any circumstance, but here serious ethical questions are raised.
Pruitt has filed 14 lawsuits challenging federal environment regulations, and in 13 of those cases, he was joined with those that had contributed money to Mr. Pruitt or Pruitt affiliated political campaign committees. [New York Times, 11/14/16]. According to the New York Times, Pruitt even took tens of thousands of dollars from companies that Oklahoma was suing after he became Attorney General and after he took control of those suits. [New York Times, 11/14/16].
Before Scott Pruitt is handed control of billions of taxpayer dollars at the Environmental Protection Agency, taxpayers in Oklahoma and across the country should know how he has handled their money at the state level. Scott Pruitt- how much of our tax dollars have you spent on outside lawfirms? Scott Pruitt- why haven’t you followed the reporting laws? Scott Pruitt- why didn’t you disqualify yourself from cases involving political contributors?
Scott Pruitt has yet to answer 50 questions submitted by the FBI as part of its required vetting process. It’s time for Scott Pruitt to start following the law and stop obstructing the law.
Mark Hammons, Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair
The mission of the Oklahoma Democratic Party is to represent working people in Oklahoma and the best way to accomplish that is to elect Democrats to all areas of government. Oklahoma Democrats are progressive and sensible. We are optimistic about the future, and we are determined to see Oklahoma’s traditional values upheld. More information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party can be found at www.okdlive.wpengine.com or by calling (405) 427-3366.