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.


  • Blasts may cause delay near I-35 rockslide in Oklahoma's Arbuckle Mountains

    BY RANDY ELLIS Staff Writer rellis@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Jul 7, 2015

    Oklahoma state Transportation Executive Director Mike Patterson said Monday at a state Transportation Commission meeting that blasting is planned along Interstate 35 to mitigate rockslides in the Arbuckle Mountains between Ardmore and Davis, Oklahoma.

  • Transportation commissioners vote for cable barrier on I-35 where crash killed 4 softball players

    BY RANDY ELLIS Staff Writer rellis@oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, Jul 7, 2015

    Oklahoma transportation commissioners approved a contract to install a 7-mile-long cable barrier to separate northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 35 along a stretch of highway where four softball players died in September 2014 in a crossover accident.

  • Oklahoma man faces charges in cattle thefts

    BY RANDY ELLIS Staff Writer rellis@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    Kiley Wayne Johnson has been charged in the thefts of 17 calves and 13 cows from five owners in Oklahoma's Okmulgee County. Johnson is from Henryetta.

  • Oklahoma Supreme Court says Ten Commandments monument must go from Capitol grounds

    BY RANDY ELLIS STAFF WRITER  | Updated: Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said he believes the court "got it wrong" and filed a petition for rehearing — a move that will at least delay removal of the monument.

  • Ten Commandments Ruling: Attorney General Scott Pruitt says court 'got it wrong'

    BY RANDY ELLIS Staff Writer   | Updated: Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    An Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling that the Ten Commandments monument must be removed from the state Capitol grounds touched off a storm of protests Tuesday with several lawmakers calling for the impeachment of the seven justices who supported the decision. Attorney General Scott Pruitt said he believes the court "got it wrong" and he plans to ask for a rehearing. At the very least, that will delay removal of the monument. Some lawmakers were furious. “Our state Supreme Court is playing politics by issuing rulings contrary to the Constitution, and contrary to the will of the clear majority of Oklahoma voters,” said state Rep.

  • Norman executive claims defamation

    BY RANDY ELLIS Staff Writer rellis@oklahoman.com | Updated: Fri, Jun 26, 2015

    Roy Orr, former chief executive officer of a Norman medical billing company that financially collapsed amid allegations of billing irregularities, claims a Norman doctor and others invaded his privacy. He is suing them and claiming defamation.

  • Tribal lawsuit claims U.S. government mismanaged assets

    By Randy Ellis Staff Writer REllis@Oklahoman.com | Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    Citing a history of corruption and swindles that dates back more than 100 years, the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations are asking a judge to order federal agencies to provide a full accounting for how they have managed tribal trust assets. The tribes also want compensation to make them "whole." It's been nearly 10 years since the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations filed a lawsuit accusing U.S. governmental agencies of violating their trust relationship and mismanaging more than 1 million acres of valuable tribal timber lands and other southeastern Oklahoma assets. The tribes are finally close to getting their day in court. If current mediation efforts fail, a non-jury federal court trial is scheduled to

  • Tribal leaders discuss importance of lawsuit

    BY RANDY ELLIS Staff Writer rellis@oklahoman.com | Updated: Mon, Jun 22, 2015

    For people of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations, their current lawsuit against U.S. government agencies is not just about seeking an accounting and compensation for mismanaged trust assets. It’s about continuing efforts to restore respect and self-esteem, said Chickasaw Gov. Bill Anoatubby and Choctaw Chief Gary Batton. “Our tribes were devastated by these acts of the federal government," Anoatubby said.

  • DHS to cut 200 positions, while adding 300 others

    BY RANDY  ELLIS Staff Writer rellis@oklahoman.com | Updated: Tue, Jun 16, 2015

    The Oklahoma Department of Human Services plans to eliminate about 200 positions while adding about 300 child welfare workers, DHS Director Ed Lake announced Tuesday.

  • Oklahoma's higher education institutions to take 3.5 percent funding cut

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Jun 3, 2015

    Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities will receive a 3.5 percent cut to their base funding under a $963.4 million revenue allocation plan approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

  • Child given wrong medicine at DHS shelter in OKC

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, May 26, 2015

    A 6-year-old child was hospitalized Saturday after mistakenly being given another child’s medicine while at a state-operated shelter for abused and neglected children in Oklahoma City.

  • Oklahoma congressman denounces cynics, critics and terrorists at conference

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Sun, May 24, 2015

    U.S. Rep. Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, railed against cynics, critics and terrorists Saturday during a rousing speech at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City.

  • Oklahoma Legislature passes bill extending probationary promotions for third-graders with reading difficulties

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Sat, May 23, 2015

    The Oklahoma Legislature passed a bill Friday to extend for three academic years a program that allows probationary promotions for third-graders who read below grade level.

  • Oklahoma House reverses course, agrees to fund Museum of Popular Culture in Tulsa

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Updated: Fri, May 22, 2015

    The Oklahoma House voted 51-40 Friday to approve funding for a popular culture museum in Tulsa. The vote came just one day after House members rejected the same measure by a vote of 44-49.

  • Lawmakers vote to give raises to Oklahoma appellate judges

    BY RANDY ELLIS, Staff Writer | Published: Sat, May 23, 2015

    Oklahoma appellate judges who got left out of last year’s judicial pay raise bill would receive 6 percent pay raises under a bill approved Friday by both sides of the Oklahoma Legislature.

  • Oklahoma lawmakers pass student safety bill

    By Randy Ellis, Staff Writer | Published: Fri, May 22, 2015

    The Oklahoma Legislature passed a bill Friday designed to protect students from abusive teachers who escape detection by switching schools when they get in trouble.

  • Oklahoma Legislature overrides Gov. Mary Fallin's veto on salaries bill for state officials

    BY RANDY ELLIS, Staff Writer | Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    The Oklahoma House of Representatives joined the Senate late Wednesday in overriding Gov. Mary Fallin’s veto of a bill that will change the way salaries are set for state officers. The House override vote was 80-11.

  • Oklahoma Senate gives final legislative approval to Indian museum plan; House rejects Tulsa project

    By Rick M. Green, Staff Writers | Updated: Thu, May 21, 2015

    If Gov. Mary Fallin signs the bill, it will be up to Oklahoma City officials whether to participate in the proposal, House rejects Tulsa project.

  • Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma says state budget proposal threatens road projects

    By Randy Ellis and Rick Green, Staff Writers | Published: Thu, May 21, 2015

    The county commissioners association is urging state lawmakers to vote no on a proposed state budget agreement, saying it contains an unexpected $50 million raid on county road and bridge funds.

  • Oklahoma House passes general appropriations bill late Wednesday

    BY RANDY ELLIS, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, May 20, 2015

    The Oklahoma House of Representatives debated late into the night Wednesday before narrowly passing the state’s $7.1 billion general appropriations bill.





Advertisement