Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Costello Returns Part Of Salary To State

From The Labor Commissioner's Office ~ Labor Commissioner Mark Costello has returned 15% of his salary or $15,750 to the State of Oklahoma to be gifted to the Department of Labor.

Under state law the compensation of an elected official cannot be changed while in office, but that official can make a gift to the state of personal funds.

In a letter to Costello, Governor Fallin wrote, “You have amply demonstrated your commitment to public service, both in your work as Commissioner of Labor and in this exceptional gift of personal funds.” Costello stated, “As a businessman, I navigated four recessions over the last thirty years by tightening my belt just as families and businesses must do to survive. I have applied that same common sense business approach to the Department of Labor by cutting costs and realigning limited resources to insure that the most important activities are carried out.”

Additional cost saving efforts by Costello include using his personal car and returning a motor pool vehicle for an annual savings of $10,200, vacated the deputy commissioner slot ($98,285) and reduced one lawyers’ position ($78,232) for a savings of $176,517, cut conference travel by $4,141.20, returned two state cars for an annual savings of $9,360, returned unnecessary computers for a savings of $110,347.83, cut renewals of subscriptions and memberships for a savings over $1,000, and cut Administrative Law Judges hourly rate from $75 an hour to $25 an hour.

Thus far, Costello has generated $329,616.03 in savings during his first seven months in public office. Costello has taken a sabbatical from his business interests to serve as an active Labor Commissioner. He has deployed existing resources to better aid Oklahoma job producers while generating savings for the taxpayer. He is an advocate of legislative efforts to reduce government bureaucratic creep and cost.

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