Randy Ellis
Local News 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 college presidents being sentenced to prison and a former chancellor being forced to resign. He has written about abuses of Oklahoma's workers' compensation system, corruption in the state's municipal bond industry, bid-rigging by county officials, self-dealing by state housing officials, misconduct involving state legislators and a variety of other topics. Ellis has won more than 80 state, regional and national awards for journalistic excellence. Prior to joining The Oklahoman in 1982, Ellis worked at Arkansas newspapers. He is a 1977 graduate of Kansas State University.


  • Emergency repairs ordered for Belle Isle bridge in Oklahoma City

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: 9 hr ago

    The Oklahoma Transportation Commission declared an emergency Monday after learning that more than half of the 95 piers that support Oklahoma City’s Belle Isle bridges on Interstate 44 had sustained structural damage because of salt and weather.

  • Emergency repairs ordered for Belle Isle bridge

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Mon, May 4, 2015

    The Oklahoma Transportation Commission declared a emergency Monday and ordered the solicitation of bids to repair Oklahoma City’s Belle Isle Bridges on Interstate 44 after structural damage to more than half of the bridges’ 95 piers was discovered during a routine maintenance project.

  • Oklahoma appeals court rejects Bureau of Indian Affairs child placement guidelines

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Sat, May 2, 2015

    Disregarding new Bureau of Indian Affairs guidelines, the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals ruled Friday that a judge can deviate from child placement preferences contained in the Indian Child Welfare Act when such action is in the best interest of a child.

  • Oklahoma's child welfare reform efforts draw mixed reviews

    BY RANDY ELLIS, Staff Writer | Published: Thu, Apr 30, 2015

    Too many Oklahoma children continue to be abused and neglected while in foster care, but DHS has made progress in some of its reform efforts, according to a new report released Wednesday by three experts hired to monitor compliance with an agreement that settled a federal class-action lawsuit.

  • Oklahoma Supreme Court declines to hear opt-out lawsuit

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Apr 28, 2015

    The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to assume original jurisdiction in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of an opt-out provision in Oklahoma’s new workers’ compensation laws.

  • Oklahoma Labor Department investigates wage complaints filed against failed Norman medical billing companies

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    The Oklahoma Department of Labor is investigating wage complaints filed by 19 former employees of two financially failed medical billing companies headquartered in Norman.

  • Unexpected damage force lane, ramp closures on Belle Isle bridge in Oklahoma City

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    The discovery of unanticipated damage during a rehabilitation project on Interstate 44’s Belle Isle bridge in Oklahoma City has forced the state Transportation Department to resort to unexpected lane and ramp closures.

  • Oklahoma corrections association sues over payroll deduction

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    An association of Oklahoma corrections employees has filed a lawsuit against the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services over plans to stop allowing its members to pay dues by payroll deduction.

  • Oklahoma assessor loses belated effort to raise taxes

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    An Oklahoma county assessor who fails to raise the market value of a home for tax purposes during the year improvements are made is limited in future years to increasing the value by no more than 5 percent annually, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled.

  • Oklahoma Supreme Court sets standards for DNR orders involving children in DHS care

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday established a firm standard on when a hospitalized child in state Department of Human Services care can be allowed to die. Justices decided a judge can authorize the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment only if there is clear and convincing evidence it is in the best interest of the child.

  • Slap, movie about slavery spark racial discrimination complaints in Oklahoma schools

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    In Stroud, elementary school students were shown a movie about slavery in which the N-word was reportedly used several times. A 9-year-old black student then was asked by his teacher to act out the role of a slave child being taken from his mother. Oklahoma has about 1.2 percent of the nation’s population, but the Office of Civil Rights estimated the state generated about 2.5 percent of the nation’s reports of black students being harassed. That’s basically double the amount that might be expected in a state the size of Oklahoma.

  • Experimental coating linked to bridge closure

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    An experimental coating applied to a 78-year-old LeFlore County bridge may have contributed to premature structural damage that forced the bridge’s closure, a state bridge engineer told The Oklahoman.

  • Court reinstates effort by Guthrie voters to limit rate increases

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Sat, Apr 11, 2015

    Residents of Guthrie on Friday moved one step closer to obtaining the authority to vote on whether to approve or reject future water and sewer rate increases.

  • Oklahoma state lawmaker withdraws request of attorney general's opinion

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    State Rep. Bobby Cleveland announced Tuesday he has withdrawn his request for an attorney general’s opinion on whether the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma must follow the state Open Meeting Act and Open Records Act because he doesn’t want to interfere with ongoing investigations.

  • Oklahoma pothole leads to unsafe bridge discovery; earthquake consultant hired

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Mon, Apr 6, 2015

    “Thank God for a pothole!” It’s not often a state Transportation Department engineer makes a statement like that, but that’s what happened during an Oklahoma Transportation Commission meeting.

  • Edmond, Midwest City's busy intersections to undergo construction

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    Broadway and 33rd Street, one of Edmond’s busiest intersections, will be resurfaced and improved in a project starting in about 60 days that is expected to take about a year to complete. Another major project awarded Monday involves the modification of the intersection of Air Depot Boulevard and SE 29 in Midwest City.

  • Norman medical billing company's financial failure prompts lawsuit

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Mon, Apr 6, 2015

    A medical billing company utilized and partially owned and managed by the Norman Regional Hospital Authority has financially failed amid allegations of billing irregularities — putting some 42 employees temporarily out of a job.

  • Edmond intersection project approved by transportation officials

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Apr 3, 2015

    A nearly $5 million project to improve one of Edmond’s busiest intersections was approved Monday by the Oklahoma Transportation Commission.

  • Improvements slated for intersection of Air Depot Ave. and SE 29th

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Apr 6, 2015

    The intersection of Air Depot Avenue and SE 29th Street will be modified and the nearby on and off ramps to Interstate 40 will be redone under a project approved Monday by the Oklahoma Transportation Commission. Work on the intersection modification and traffic signal project is expected to begin in about two months and take 90 days to complete at a cost of about $2.5 million, said Lisa Shearer-Salim, public information manager for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. The commission approved a separate project that will add signage and a high friction surface course to SE 29th Street. The high friction treatment provides better traction for vehicles to make the turn as long as motorists are traveling at

  • Oklahoma Indian gaming revenues rise while fees to state drop

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    Oklahoma Indian gaming revenues rose by more than $60 million in 2013, but the amount of fees tribes paid the state dropped by more than $3.1 million.




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