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Audit shows Oklahoma state Education Department used a “front organization” to host a conference

Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones said the state Education Department under state Superintendent Janet Barresi used personnel in a questionable and likely inappropriate manner to solicit and spend more than $200,000 for an education conference in 2011.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND mrolland@opubco.com Modified: October 29, 2012 at 10:31 pm •  Published: October 29, 2012
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Barresi said that she accepts the findings of the audit.

“I was the one that asked for the audit and I appreciate the thorough work that Auditor Jones did,” Barresi said. “While these were procedures that were used in the past, we have new guidelines in place that are very strict and very precise.”

Barresi said the department is ready to move forward.

The last education conference the department held was paid for almost entirely by state funds or donations accepted by the Education Board on behalf of the state, Barresi said.