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Cleveland County DA owes taxpayers answers about personnel issue

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Modified: July 11, 2012 at 7:17 am •  Published: July 11, 2012

As its district attorney, Greg Mashburn is the chief legal officer in Cleveland County. And yet he fails to abide by a written policy that requires him to keep records related to the firing of employees. What other rules might Mashburn be flaunting?

He opens himself up to such questioning with his blithe dismissal of the policy, which is standard in most any office that wants to avoid legal trouble when it fires someone. His first assistant, Mark Gibson, says no records involving employee discipline have been generated in the 5 ½ years that Mashburn has been district attorney.

The decision to operate this way was Mashburn's, said Gibson, who added that the office is “following best HR practices by not giving a specific reason for termination, either to the employee ... or to anyone else.” We'd like to meet the human resources administrator who recommends conducting personnel business that way.

The Oklahoman raised questions about hirings and firings after Mashburn axed an assistant district attorney last month. The assistant had drafted a rule saying that photos of suspects would no longer be routinely released to the media; Mashburn overruled that decision and canned the man. He hasn't said why he took the action. He's refused our request for records related to employee discipline — records that are public under state law.

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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