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Audit of Oklahoma fire marshal's office reveals failure to inspect some correctional facilities

The state fire marshal's office can't account for a missing shotgun and has failed to meet its legal duty to annually inspect all Oklahoma correctional facilities, a state audit has revealed.
by Randy Ellis Modified: June 18, 2013 at 9:28 pm •  Published: June 19, 2013
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The state fire marshal's office can't account for a missing shotgun and has failed to meet its legal duty to annually inspect all Oklahoma correctional facilities, a state audit has revealed.

“Lax inventory record-keeping and failure to conduct inventory counts on such items as firearms, laptop computers and cigarettes seized for fire safety code violations have resulted in missing inventory,” said state Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones.

“Most alarmingly, management was unable to locate a Remington shotgun assigned to a field agent,” he reported. “Another firearm was reportedly gifted to a retiring agent but no documentation was retained to support this explanation.”

Unable to locate the shotgun, employees of the fire marshal's office filed a missing weapons report with the Oklahoma City Police Department and have placed renewed emphasis on conducting annual inventory reviews, according to the audit.

The fire marshal's office neglected to inspect 27 correctional facilities in 2011 and 30 facilities in 2011, auditors said.

“Such an oversight not only results in statutory noncompliance, but has more severe implications, such as increasing the risk of property damage, personal injury and potential loss of life at uninspected facilities,” Jones said.

Jones said his auditors identified 210 correctional facilities under the jurisdiction of the state, counties, cities and towns. By law, fire marshal's employees are required to inspect each institution every year.

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative 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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