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Former Oklahoma Commerce Department business recruiter reprimanded

The findings by the state Ethics Commission show he leaked insider information from the Commerce Department to a Texas firm that eventually hired him.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: March 24, 2012

The state Ethics Commission publicly reprimanded a former Oklahoma Commerce Department recruiter of business Friday for allegedly leaking insider information to a Texas firm that eventually hired him.

The reprimand states that Robbie Ruminer secured confidential information from the Commerce Department and made it available for his personal gain. The incidents are believed to have occurred between May 2008 and January 2010.

Ruminer began work with the state agency in 2005 and quit in 2010.

“You literally changed jobs over the weekend, joining an organization which you had supplied with confidential agency-owned information,” the reprimand states.

Ruminer joined Harrison, Walker and Harper where he is director of site selection for the company, which builds a wide range of projects for companies. He did not return a voice-mail message left Friday on his telephone at the Paris, Texas, firm nor an email request seeking comment.

The Ethics Commission issued the public reprimand after meeting in a closed session. The commission may issue a private reprimand, a public reprimand or a fine or file a lawsuit.

Ruminer provided a written response to the Ethics Commission after he was notified of the allegations against him. He claimed the information he provided was public knowledge and that he was confused about the confidential status of information he leaked.

The Commerce Department's mission is to recruit businesses to Oklahoma and helps state businesses expand their operations. In the recruiting process, the agency deals with a company's internal business plans, trade secrets and proprietary data. Some of the data is confidential for all time. The information is protected under exceptions carved out of the Open Records Act for the Commerce Department.

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