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Oklahoma health agency head resigns after abuse accusations

The interim director of Oklahoma’s health division — one in all Republican Gov. Mary Fallin’s high aides — stepped down Tuesday following accusations of home violence.

Preston Doerflinger stepped down after about 4 months on the job. Fallin appointed him in October after commissioner Terry Cline resigned amid allegations of financial mismanagement at the agency.

Health division board members accepted Doerflinger’s resignation Tuesday after assembly in government session to debate his employment. The panel’s lawyer stated the group had acquired info in the course of the previous 24 hours.

Local information outlet The Frontier had reported the day earlier than that Tulsa police responded to a name from Doerflinger’s then-wife in 2012 saying he had choked her. They have since divorced.

Tulsa police spokesman Shane Tuell learn from a 2012 police report however did not provide The Frontier with a duplicate. Tuell stated the case was assigned to the division’s household violence unit however it was closed and never forwarded to prosecutors.

Police stated Doerflinger’s then-wife stuffed out a sufferer’s assertion however later requested that it not be used, as a result of she did not need her husband to lose his job.

Doerflinger, who additionally was appointed Fallin’s finance secretary, did not reply to a voice message in search of remark from The Associated Press.

A request for remark from the governor’s workplace additionally was not instantly returned.

Doerflinger’s resignation follows final week’s resignation of White House employees secretary Rob Porter, who was accused by two ex-wives of abuse.

In one other brush with the legislation, Doerflinger’s driver’s license was revoked after he pleaded no contest in 2015 to being in command of a automobile whereas drunk, which means the automobile was not transferring.

Doerflinger’s departure is the newest in a string resignations and firings on the Oklahoma Department of Health. Several agency officers have resigned or been fired over monetary issues and price range shortfalls that officers say had been attributable to years of over-expenditures and financial mismanagement.

An audit of the health division’s funds is underway, the lawyer basic’s multicounty grand jury is investigating, and the Legislature appropriated $30 million throughout a particular session to make sure the agency might make payroll and pay distributors.

Doerflinger has stated agency officers for years improperly juggled cash between the division’s accounts and expanded the agency’s mission and operations past its funding ranges.

The health division board on Tuesday appointed Brian Downs, the agency’s director of state and federal coverage, as performing commissioner. Board president Martha Burger stated in a press release she hopes to have candidates for the subsequent interim to vet inside 60 days.

About Zeeshan Iqbal Soomro

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