Tulsa lawmaker calls for full transparency, audit of executive spending

Collaborator: State of Oklahoma
Published: 05/05/2020, 3:55 PM
(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) State Rep. Monroe Nichols, D-Tulsa, released the following statement calling for an audit of spending by the executive branch after a series of media stories highlighted concerns regarding spending during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Millions of tax dollars are exchanging hands, and it seems there is little to no oversight in how these funds are being managed. Only through the press did we learn about the misguided use of two million dollars to buy a drug that has shown to do more harm to COVID-19 patients than good. The media exposed us to the $56,000 of taxpayer funds that were given to someone in the hope that they would provide PPE, which never came. I appreciate the degree of difficulty facing Governor Stitt’s Administration, but given this news, it would be foolish for legislative leaders not to step in to ensure accountability. “In order to restore confidence in our state government and to account for the expenditure of every tax dollar during this pandemic, I am calling for a state audit of executive branch discretionary spending pertaining to COVID-19 from March 1 until the end of the governor’s emergency order. "Additionally, given the governor’s unwillingness to include the legislature in a transparent process relating to the expenditure of federal CARES Act funds, an audit of those expenditures through December 30, 2020 is critical also. Whether the dollars be federal or state-appropriated dollars, at the end of the day the expectation is they meet the needs of all Oklahomans, and if the governor refuses to include the legislature, we can only be sure that happens if we audit. “I want to add that media across the country but especially in Oklahoma are facing furloughs and are constantly being asked to do less with more. We are fortunate to have a lot of great professionals in our state that have truly risen above this adversity to ensure Oklahomans are informed. We all owe a big thank you to each of them.”


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