Three former DHS officials accused of false travel claims scheme

A former high-level DHS official, a former county director and a former supervisor have been accused in felony charges of a false travel claims scheme.
by Nolan Clay Published: February 6, 2013
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A retired high-level DHS official has been accused in a felony charge of illegally allowing a DHS supervisor to get $25,258 in travel pay for driving back and forth from work.

William “Bill” Wilson Jr. was charged Monday in Okfuskee County District Court with presenting false claims against the state. He was an area director in the former field operations division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services

A former DHS county director, Debra Winn, and the DHS supervisor, Sherry L. Roberts, also were charged Monday with presenting false claims against the state. Roberts resigned from the agency Wednesday morning, records show.

“This was clearly a scheme to circumvent state travel policy to pay Roberts to commute from her home. It is extremely disappointing that DHS staff would be part of an attempt to defraud the state,” DHS spokeswoman Sheree Powell said Wednesday.

Wilson, 67, of Coalgate, could not be reached for comment. He worked at DHS for 35 years, retiring on Jan. 31, 2012, records show. His attorney did not immediately respond to messages left at a law office.

Winn, 53, of Chandler, resigned last October after almost 23 years at DHS. She was the Okfuskee County director. “It's bigger than anyone knows but I'm not going to say anything yet,” Winn said Wednesday.

Roberts, 54, of Weleetka, could not be reached for comment. She had worked at DHS since 1990.

DHS investigator Christopher Comer reported in a court affidavit that the false travel claims were completed between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2011.


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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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