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Three Former Oklahoma DHS Employees Face Felony Charges
Three former Oklahoma DHS employees, face felony charges, accused of scamming the state out of twenty-five thousand dollars.
"In our view point, it's extremely disappointing to find out DHS employees were involved in a scheme" says Sheree Powell, a spokesperson for DHS.
The investigation began in 2008, after DHS received an anonymous tip about a possible scam.
Investigators discovered Area Director Bill Williams allowed Supervisor Sherry Roberts to file false claims against the state, and collect travel expenses for driving from her home, to work, and back.
"State travel policy does not allow the state to reimburse an employee to basically commute from their home to their place of work" says Powell.
Prosecutors say Williams ordered former County Director Debra Winn, to approve the expenses.
"She was doing that because unless you have an office in one county, you know you can't claim mileage from your house to your place of employment" says Okfuskee County Assistant District Attorney Maxey Reiley.
Reiley says Roberts was driving from her home in Weleetka, to Pottawatomie County, and Roberts also said she was traveling to an office in Okfuskee County, which was not true.
"She was basically pretending that she had an office here, when in fact she did not, so that she could get the mileage.
DHS says Williams and Wilson retired before charges were filed, and Winn stepped down this week.
If convicted, all three could each face a ten thousand dollar fine, and two years in prison.
Posted: Thursday, February 7 2013, 09:47 PM CST
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Safe room mandates remain rare in tornado states
May 24, 2013 07:24 GMT
By DAVID A. LIEB Associated Press
MOORE, Okla. (AP) -- When a deadly tornado tore through the central Oklahoma city of Moore, many survivors emerged from their storm shelters to see their homes blown away.
The mayor suggested that storm shelters should perhaps be mandated for new homes. But that may be hard sell.
But not a single state currently requires storm shelters in new homes. And not even many communities do so.
Costs remain a deterrent despite the life-saving potential of personal storm shelters. So, too, does a general resistance to government mandates in politically conservative states in the nation's heartland where tornadoes are most prevalent.
Instead of a stick, Oklahoma currently offers a carrot to build storm shelters. It uses federal funds to award $2,000 rebates to residents who win a special storm-shelter lottery.
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