As controversy continues over the appointment and/or hiring of ex-legislators by Governor Fallin and Insurance Commissioner John Doak, former State Sen. Randy Brogdon weighs in with his take. Brogdon, now with a job in the Insurance Department, is one of the three hires in question.
Many of my supporters have been asking what I will be doing in the future, so I want to give you an update. I have been asked by Insurance Commissioner John Doak to serve as his Deputy Commissioner of the Fraud Division. I am honored to serve and am excited about the opportunities to protect the citizens of Oklahoma.Other Oklahoma bloggers have been discussing this topic as well. Mike McCarville posted a poll asking if the appointments violated the spirit of the "no hire" law; 60% said that it went against it. Ron Black agreed with McCarville's poll respondents.
There has been a lot of discussion whether or not legislators can work for a state agency within two years after their legislative service is over. The answer to that question is yes. As a matter of fact there have been several Supreme Court decisions as well as Attorney Generals opinion stating the affirmative. Following is an honest appraisal of the facts along with the spirit and the intent of the law.
The bill has three distinct provisions. First, no member of the legislature can be appointed to an office that was created during his term of office.
Secondly, no member can receive an appointment from the Governor during his term of office.
The third provision of the bill deals with the two year moratorium which is often mischaracterized. The moratorium specifically restricts a legislator from entering into a “contract” with any state agency that was authorized during his term of office.
For example if the legislature created the “Department of Prescription Drugs” during his term of office he could not serve or contract with that department for a period of two years after his term was over.
The letter of the law and the spirit of the law are not to restrict a former legislator from working for a state agency, it is simply designed to prevent a legislator form having influence in creating a position and then moving directly in to it.
I'll be posting more on this issue later. The section of the Oklahoma Constitution in question is here.