Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rice Wants AG Ruling On Education Salaries

Senator Andrew Rice: He
seeks AG ruling
Senate Minority Leader Andrew Rice has asked Attorney General Scott Pruitt to investigate the properiety of Department of Education employees being paid by a private foundation.

Rice and other Democrats, including members of the Board of Education, have made an issue out of several senior staff members of Schools Superintendent Janet Barresi, a Republican, being paid by a foundation rather than by the state.

Rice said, "My caucus and I are concerned with the possible impropriety of the State Department of Education being directed by senior staff who apparently are being paid by a private foundation, rather that state appropriated dollars. Today I submitted a request to Attorney General Pruitt asking his office to look into the possible constitutional and ethics problems that may exist with privately funded personnel supervising and managing state employees, and using state resources and property. There are a myriad of potential problems that could result from this scenario in regards to the constitutional limits on private gifts to public officials, and tort liability issues for the State Department of Education. We look forward to seeing the results of the Attorney General's inquiry into these matters and expect the outcome to bring about a strict adherence to the constitutional and statutory obligations that fall on all Oklahoma State officers."

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