OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Bobby Cleveland announced today he will request an interim study concerning the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) following a letter from disgruntled employees.
“It’s clear that this agency is not running smoothly,” said Cleveland, R-Slaughterville. “Earlier this year, dozens of agency employees submitted a letter to commissioners regarding Director Stan Florence’s leadership and decisions. Furthermore, it appears Florence knowingly allowed staff to continue working in a Lawton office that tested positive for toxic mold and sickened several employees.”
In the two-page letter, OSBI staffers claimed Florence’s “decisions often conflict with, instead of support, the Agency’s core mission.” Employees, including several who signed anonymously for fear of retaliation, also called the director ineffective as a leader, saying Florence “is unable to understand, prioritize and address the challenges facing the OSBI.”
Cleveland requested a copy of the letter from Florence, but the chairman was told Florence did not possess a copy.
Cleveland said he was so engrossed with the budget during the legislative session that he just recently learned about the crisis within the agency, but he is committed to resolving the issues.
“Lawmakers appropriated more than $10 million to the agency for the upcoming fiscal year,” Cleveland said. “We didn’t give the agency that money so a director could intimidate employees who have concerns or so he could open up the bureau to lawsuits. We need straight answers from the director, and I fully intend to ensure the agency runs smoothly from here on out.”
The deadline for interim study requests is Friday, June 9. After requests are received, House Speaker Charles McCall will consider each request on the basis of its merits as well as on the committee and staff workloads. Approved studies and related committee assignments will be announced no later than Friday, July 7. Studies are typically held from August through October.