Oklahoma Department of Human Services, advisory committee are accused of open meeting violations

A representative of an Oklahoma child care association has written a letter to state and county prosecutors accusing the Department of Human Services and the state's Child Care Advisory Committee of violating the Open Meeting Act.
by Randy Ellis Published: March 20, 2013
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A representative of an Oklahoma child care association has sent an email to state and county prosecutors accusing the Department of Human Services and the state's Child Care Advisory Committee of violating the state Open Meeting Act.

“We are deeply concerned by the blatant violations of the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act that the Department of Human Services has engaged in for at least a minimum of the last two years while meeting to review and completely rewrite every portion of the Oklahoma Child Care Facilities Act,” Tammy Maus, legislative representative and board member of the Licensed Child Care Association of Oklahoma, said in an email to Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

No meeting notices?

In an attached letter to DHS Director Edward Lake, Maus complained that DHS members, members of the Child Care Advisory Committee and a subcommittee of the advisory committee had “blatantly, purposefully and deliberately disregarded the known requirements of the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act.”

Maus told The Oklahoman her organization's main complaint is that the subcommittee of the advisory committee didn't post meeting notices.

A copy of Maus' letter also was sent to Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater.

“I received a letter late last week, and we're reviewing it at this time,” Prater said Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for Pruitt said officials in the attorney general's office also are reviewing the letter.

Maus said her association wants the advisory committee to toss out the work it has done so far. A new committee should be created to revise licensing requirements, she said. It should follow the Open Meeting Act and proportionally represent the local child care industry.

Maus' trade association, Licensed Child Care Association of Oklahoma, is newer and smaller than the more widely known Oklahoma Child Care Association.

Licensed Child Care Association of Oklahoma has about 100 members, some of whom are individuals and others are child care centers, said Rikki Cosper, another board member. She said the group existed for about 10 years under the name Central Oklahoma Friends of Early Education, but was renamed two months ago.


by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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