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 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.


  • Elected officials voice surprise at size of Oklahoma agency directors' pay increases

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Oct 20, 2014

    Thirty Oklahoma agency directors were given raises of at least $10,000 last fiscal year, with 16 of them receiving raises that were double that amount or more, according to a report released by the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services.

  • Oklahoma judge explains former regent's sentence

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Sun, Oct 19, 2014

    A McIntosh County judge says a lack of prior criminal history was one of the major reasons he chose not to give jail time to a former Seminole State College regent who pleaded no contest recently in a case where he was accused of punching a woman in the face during a 2010 Halloween party at the McAlester Country Club.

  • Facebook message not enough when terminating father's parental rights in Oklahoma

    BY RANDY ELLIS, Staff Writer | Updated: Sun, Oct 19, 2014

    A Facebook message a woman sent to her former sex partner announcing she was pregnant was not sufficient legal notice to support terminating the father’s parental rights, the state Supreme Court ruled this week.

  • If you're calling the DHS hotline to report child abuse, prepare to wait

    BY RANDY ELLIS, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    People calling an Oklahoma DHS hotline sometimes have to wait more than two hours to report allegations of child abuse, according to a new monitoring report released Wednesday. The Department of Human Services also has 1,254 child abuse and neglect investigations that are overdue — including 211 that have been overdue for more than six months.

  • Son of slain Duncan couple is jailed in unrelated case

    BY JULIANA KEEPING, Staff Writers | Updated: Wed, Oct 15, 2014

    The Oklahoma medical examiner’s office has confirmed the names of three people found dead in Duncan. John Hruby, 50, his wife, Tinker, 48, and daughter Katherine, 17, were found dead in their home Monday.

  • Deaths of Marlow newspaper publisher, family stun community

    BY JENNIFER PALMER, Staff Writers | Updated: Mon, Oct 13, 2014

    Police and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation are investigating the deaths of John Hruby, wife Tinker, and their 17-year-old daughter, Katherine, as a possible homicide. The Hrubys own The Marlow Review and the Comanche County Chronicle in Elgin.

  • Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Oklahoma group home operator

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Mon, Oct 13, 2014

    Mitchell Boles, 51, died from respiratory failure due to aspiration pneumonia less than two months after he was forced to move from the Southern Oklahoma Resource Center in Pauls Valley as part of the state’s plan to close that facility and a similar institution in Enid, said his sister, Shannon Adams, of Broken Bow.

  • Oklahoma state auditor finds apparent Kay County bidding violations

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Oct 10, 2014

    Kay County commissioners appear to have repeatedly violated state bidding procedures in their handling of road and bridge construction projects, according to three Kay County financial audits released Thursday by the Oklahoma Auditor and Inspector’s Office.

  • Former Oklahoma college regent avoids jail time following plea

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, Oct 7, 2014

    A former Seminole State College regent has been fined $500 — but given no jail time —in punching a woman in the face during a 2010 Halloween party at the McAlester Country Club.

  • Oklahoma gubernatorial debate shows differing views, but no surprises

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Thu, Oct 2, 2014

    Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin and Democrat challenger Joe Dorman clashed on issues ranging from education to health care Thursday during the one and only scheduled debate between the candidates.

  • Oklahoma transportation officials say load limit will remain for Purcell-Lexington bridge

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Oct 1, 2014

    Fixing the Purcell-Lexington bridge sufficiently to allow a 36-ton load restriction to be lifted would cost an additional $21.3 million and require the bridge to be closed for about 250 days, says Casey Shell, chief engineer for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Transportation officials believe that’s unacceptable. Instead, they plan to proceed with their previously announced decision to expedite construction of a new bridge, while continuing the load restriction.

  • Oklahoma House caucus claims Moore beheading was terrorism, not workplace violence

    BY RANDY ELLIS, Staff Writer | Updated: Mon, Sep 29, 2014

    Citing Thursday’s beheading of a Vaughan Foods worker in Moore, eight Oklahoma state representatives issued a joint statement Monday calling for a “public discussion about potential terrorists in our midst and the role that Sharia law plays in their actions.”

  • Property tax foul ups create funding crises for 3 Canadian County schools

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Sun, Sep 28, 2014

    Three Canadian County school districts are scrambling to resolve budget turmoil following the discovery that business personal property taxes for several oilfield companies had been improperly allocated to the wrong school districts.

  • Cimarron County commissioner receives deferred sentence in gasoline embezzlement

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Sep 26, 2014

    Cimarron County Commissioner Tommy Grazier pleaded no contest Wednesday to a felony charge of embezzling county gasoline for his personal vehicle.

  • Inhofe fundraiser event causes flap

    BY RANDY ELLIS, Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    A fund raising event for Sen. Jim Inhofe in which about 1,000 live pigeons were thrown up into the air to be shot by Inhofe and his political supporters has an animal right group crying foul.

  • Oklahoma NAACP president requests federal investigation

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Fri, Sep 12, 2014

    The Oklahoma State Conference of the NAACP’s president is asking the U.S. attorney general to begin a hate crimes and civil rights investigation into the alleged sexual assaults on black women by an Oklahoma City police officer.

  • County commissioner in Oklahoma resigns after embezzlement charge

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Sep 12, 2014

    Tommy Grazier, a county commissioner in Oklahoma, resigned and withdrew his candidacy for re-election after being charged with embezzling gasoline from Cimmaron County.

  • Enid attorney is accused of fraud in fee dispute involving former Oklahoma insurance commissioner

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Sep 10, 2014

    Enid attorney Stephen Jones faces accusations of fraud and conspiracy in a dispute over unpaid legal fees allegedly incurred by a Texas defense lawyer who represented disgraced former Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher.

  • Oklahoma's eight-year transportation plan targets deficient bridges

    BY RANDY ELLIS, Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, Sep 9, 2014

    Work to replace the beleaguered Purcell-Lexington bridge has been moved up to fiscal year 2018 under an ambitious eight-year work plan adopted Monday by the Oklahoma Transportation Commission.

  • Traffic disruptions ahead for Broadway Extension, I-235 in Oklahoma City

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Mon, Sep 8, 2014

    Motorists on the Broadway Extension and Interstate 235 can expect renewed traffic disruptions beginning this spring as the Oklahoma Department of Transportation has moved up the starting date of the next phase of widening Interstate 235 to accommodate increased traffic.