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Lawmaker questions 11th-hour raises at OSBI

(KOKH/FILE)

Just two days before he submitted his letter of resignation, then Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Director Stan Florence submitted requests for tens of thousands of dollars of raises and promotions for his administration insiders.

Florence had nothing to say when FOX 25 tried to ask him about pushing through raises in the final days of his time at the agency. However, the investigation into the spending caught the attention of lawmakers like House Public Safety Chairman Bobby Cleveland (R, Slaughterville).

“Maybe up to $100,000,” Cleveland said, “People got $10,000, $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 pay raises two days before [Florence] resigned. This is what's wrong with government.”

Representative Cleveland requested records from the Governor’s Cabinet Secretary of Public Safety who had to sign off on the raises due to the executive order calling for a freeze on major salary increase. The records Cleveland received including documents about raises that the OSBI did not provide FOX 25.

However when comparing the internal memos to the salary freeze requests, we found there was no request for a nearly $10,000 raise for one of the senior leaders at the OSBI that did not accompany a promotion or change in position.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Cleveland said. “It's like a guy giving candy out when he leaves.”

Cleveland said in one of his recent conversations with Florence, the then OSBI director blamed the legislature for lack of law enforcement resources.

“I asked him how many oil field crimes have you investigated in the past two years? And he said zero. And I said why? That's what the statute says you investigate you do this, that's your job, things like copper being stolen. And he says we just don't have the funds,” Cleveland said.

Oil field crimes are one of the specific crimes the OSBI is ordered to investigate by state law.

Cleveland believes the recent turmoil within the investigative agency's leadership and this latest controversy are further proof the state's investigative law enforcement agencies need to be consolidated - and restructured to provide more accountability.

After this report aired, the OSBI responded to our request for information about oil field crimes and indicated the agency has worked 6 cases in the past two years.

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