OKLAHOMA CITY –State Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, had strong words after the Oklahoma State Board of Health (OSDH) approved a salary of nearly $200,000 for Interim Commissioner Preston Doerflinger. He was appointed to the role in October after officials at the Oklahoma State Health Department (OSDH) mismanaged at least $30 million.
According to a report, Doerflinger said he doesn’t want the job permanently, but the OSDH board announced he will serve until further notice and receive a salary of $189,000 – around $18,000 more than his current salary.
“I am absolutely outraged by the news that Preston Doerflinger will now be making nearly $200,000 as the interim head of the OSDH,” Cleveland said. “This salary agreement gives Doerflinger a substantial raise over what he was earning at OMES.”
Prior to taking this position at OSDH, Doerflinger served as director of the Office of Management & Enterprise Services (OMES). He currently serves as the Secretary of Finance and Revenue as well.
“Taxpayers are now footing an enormous bill for an interim director who meets not a single qualification for the commissioner of health outlined in statute. Oklahomans are paying Doerflinger to ‘fix’ the Health Department’s financial crisis, yet Doerflinger failed to catch this multimillion dollar mismanagement when he was at OMES, supposedly overseeing the whole thing,” Cleveland said in the release.
He continued, “The salary announcement comes while the Health Department continues plans to lay off over 200 hardworking folks in this state. Oklahomans deserve better. The board’s decision to fork over $189,000 annually to Doerflinger makes one thing perfectly clear: mismanagement and ineptitude pay in Oklahoma.”