Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Muskogee Phoenix Editorial Board: Doerflinger's actions disgraceful

The Muskogee Phoenix has historically been a fairly liberal newspaper, but on occasion, they get things dead right. Today's editorial is one example.

A Facebook feud initiated by the governor’s finance secretary demonstrates the depth to which leadership at the Capitol seem willing to sink themselves and the state.

Secretary Preston Doerflinger accused the state auditor of falling “asleep at the wheel” in a Facebook post attempting to assign blame for the fiscal mismanagement of the Oklahoma Health Department. Gov. Mary Fallin’s appointee said Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones had “been derelict in his duties” and urged him to abandon his bid for the Republican Party’s nomination in the 2018 governor’s race.

Jones attributed the dispute to a discrepancy in the testimony presented by the two men during hearings convened by lawmakers investigating Health Department expenditures. The state auditor said Doerflinger “got his feelings hurt” because their recollections differed about when financial problems at the agency first surfaced.

Doerflinger’s accusations against Jones appear petty considering the scope of the fiscal calamity at a state agency that provides core services to thousands of Oklahomans. His conduct, on the other hand, is quite alarming and further bruises the state’s image — an image tarnished by those who place politics and above the best interest of their constituents.

Fallin’s finance secretary was responsible for overseeing the state’s finances as director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. He now serves as interim director of the beleaguered agency that must lay off scores of workers across the state due to alleged misfeasance.

From this vantage point, it appears Doerflinger should focus more attention on the serious issues that jeopardize the public health in Oklahoma and threatens its residents. His Facebook feud appears to be little more than a charade — perhaps an attempt to deflect attention from himself or a ploy to influence the outcome of party politics.


Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight, Dorf was in charge of OEM, which oversaw fiscal responsibility over ODMSH, which is in this mess in the first place, and now Dorf has been asked to oversee ODMH? Isn't that like letting the inmate run the jail?