Recent Articles from NewsOK and The Oklahoman

  • Laws to take effect in Oklahoma on Jan. 1

    BY MEGAN ROLLAND | Updated: Fri, Dec 28, 2012

    A handful of new laws take effect Jan. 1 in Oklahoma, including several that will likely mean lower property taxes for some individuals and businesses and more reforms for the Department of Human Services.

  • Magistrate recommends $7 million to attorneys who filed Oklahoma DHS lawsuit

    BY NOLAN CLAY | Published: Thu, Dec 20, 2012

    A federal magistrate in Tulsa recommended a $7 million payment to the child advocacy group whose lawsuit forced DHS to make child welfare reforms.

  • Oklahoma County deputies arrest man on lewd acts with child complaints

    BY LEIGHANNE MANWARREN | Updated: Tue, Dec 11, 2012

    Christopher Nicholas Dijay Jr., 32, was arrested Monday on three complaints of lewd acts with a child under 16. He was found in a motel near SE 51 and Interstate 35 with an underage victim, the Oklahoma County sheriff's office reported.

  • Stigler baby died after unauthorized visit to mother, report says

    BY RANDY ELLIS | Published: Sat, Dec 8, 2012

    A baby boy who was not supposed to be left unsupervised with his mother after experiencing a serious head injury and broken bones in her care died in April 2011 after once again being left with her, Oklahoma Department of Human Services records reveal.

  • Oklahoma news briefs, Dec. 7

    | Published: Fri, Dec 7, 2012

    Oklahoma news briefs, Dec. 7

  • More Oklahomans needed public assistance in 2011, Census Bureau says

    BY CHRIS CASTEEL | Updated: Wed, Nov 28, 2012

    Despite the falling unemployment rate in Oklahoma, more people needed food stamps and welfare assistance.

  • Enid DHS worker's death appears to be suicide

    BY RANDY ELLIS | Updated: Tue, Nov 27, 2012

    An Oklahoma Department of Human Services employee was found dead Tuesday morning in the gymnasium of the Northern Oklahoma Resource Center of Enid. His death is believed to be self-inflicted.

  • Worker at juvenile shelter charged with fondling three girls in DHS custody

    BY TIM WILLERT | Updated: Mon, Nov 19, 2012

    Eszra D. Walker, 29, of Midwest City, is accused of inappropriately touching the teenage girls while working as a direct care specialist at the Pauline Mayer shelter.

  • DHS child welfare specialist wrote about treatment

    Updated: Mon, Nov 12, 2012

    DHS worker wrote about treatment

  • DHS worker who committed suicide after child's death cleared of wrongdoing

    BY NOLAN CLAY AND ROBBY TRAMMELL | Updated: Mon, Nov 12, 2012

    An Oklahoma DHS child welfare worker who committed suicide after a young girl's murder and his supervisor are not to blame for her death, a prosecutor has concluded.

  • Two former DHS workers charged in Serenity Deal case

    BY NOLAN CLAY | Updated: Fri, Nov 9, 2012

    Two fired Oklahoma DHS workers won't see any jail time in the case of the child killed by her abusive father. They were given suspended sentences, and each must pay a $250 fine, $100 to a victims' compensation fund and court courts.

  • Oklahoma voters head to the polls

    BY MICHAEL MCNUTT | Updated: Mon, Nov 5, 2012

    Tuesday's ballot features the presidential race and all five congressional seats are contested. Oklahomans will be asked to retain appellate court judges and decide six state questions; many will also cast ballots in state legislative and county official races.

  • Families angry at DHS vote to close two residential centers for adults with developmental disabilities

    BY RANDY ELLIS | Updated: Thu, Nov 1, 2012

    DHS commissioners Thursday voted to close NORCE and SORC, Oklahoma's two residential centers for adults with developmental disabilities.

  • Parents, guardians report mixed results in disabled adults' moves from Oklahoma centers

    BY RANDY ELLIS | Published: Wed, Oct 31, 2012

    Both advocates and opponents of closing Oklahoma's two institutions for adults with developmental disabilities say they want what's best for residents. The Oklahoman interviewed several guardians of residents who have already moved from the institutions to find out where they stand.

  • Oklahoma DHS Commission may vote on closure of state centers

    BY RANDY ELLIS | Published: Wed, Oct 31, 2012

    After more than a year of study and repeated delays, DHS commissioners are expected to vote Thursday on whether to close Oklahoma's residential centers for adults with developmental disabilities.

  • Oklahoma City man shot in back may be paralyzed, stepfather says

    BY JULIANA KEEPING STAFF WRITER | Updated: Wed, Oct 31, 2012

    An Oklahoma City police officer shot Verle Deljet Parton, 18, of Oklahoma City, about 9:40 p.m. Sunday near SW 59 and S Pennsylvania Avenue. Police reported he had a gun in his hand and turned toward the officer who shot him.

  • New laws take effect Thursday in Oklahoma

    BY MICHAEL MCNUTT | Updated: Mon, Oct 29, 2012

    Oklahoma measures intended to control prison growth and to reduce lines at driver's license exam stations are among nearly 100 new laws that take effect.

  • Other new laws that take effect Thursday

    Updated: Mon, Oct 29, 2012

    AT A GLANCE Other new laws that take effect Thursday Employee information House Bill 2258 requires the Oklahoma Tax Commission, Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Court and Oklahoma Employment Security Commission to share information through a secure database with the intent of detecting...

  • Oklahoma Department of Human Services to pay $9,500 to settle lawsuit over child mix-up

    BY NOLAN CLAY | Published: Fri, Oct 26, 2012

    The Oklahoma Department of Human Services has agreed to pay $9,500 to settle a lawsuit filed in 2007 after a temporary worker picked the wrong girl up from school.

  • Computer trouble shuts down access to Oklahoma food stamps

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Fri, Oct 12, 2012

    Oklahoma stores could not accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program credit cards when First Data, a payment processing company contracted by these stores, was down from 5 to about 5:45 p.m. Friday, officials said.

  • Six state questions on Nov. 6 ballot

    BY MEGAN ROLLAND Staff Writer | Updated: Fri, Oct 12, 2012

    Today is the last day voters can register before the Nov. 6 presidential election. There are also six proposed amendments to the Oklahoma Constitution on the ballot including two tax issues and a prohibition of affirmative action policies.

  • Oklahoma DHS Commission votes to offer job

    BY RANDY ELLIS Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Oct 10, 2012

    Members of the Oklahoma Commission for Human Services voted Wednesday to offer retired Tennessee DHS Deputy Commissioner Ed Lake the job as director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

  • DHS reforms, foster care privatization under way

    BY MEGAN ROLLAND | Updated: Wed, Oct 3, 2012

    An interim study by the Senate committee for the Department of Human Resources was updated Wednesday about the status of five bills passed last session to significantly alter the operations of one of the state's largest agency.

  • Setting it straight, Sept. 27

    | Updated: Wed, Sep 26, 2012

    Setting it straight, Sept. 27

  • Arkansas governor changes course on health care

    By ANDREW DeMILLO | Updated: Tue, Sep 25, 2012

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — President Barack Obama's health care overhaul has never been popular in Arkansas, a state where even most Democrats regard the law as politically toxic. But with a quarter of the state's working-age population uninsured, a governor who once said he would have voted against...

  • Oklahoma church abuse inquiry results in more charges

    | Updated: Tue, Sep 25, 2012

    TULSA (AP) — A fourth victim of alleged abuse at a 17,000-member Tulsa megachurch has come forward, and police said Tuesday that there might be a fifth. At the same time, members of Victory Christian Center are beginning to speak publicly about the allegations that have shaken the worldwide...

  • Sex abuse claims stem from Tulsa megachurch

    BY JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS | Updated: Thu, Sep 20, 2012

    A 17,000-member megachurch in Tulsa has been rattled by allegations that five employees waited two weeks to report the rape of a 13-year-old girl in a campus stairwell, allegedly by a church worker.

  • Former Muskogee County juvenile detention worker faces sex charge

    BY SHEILA STOGSDILL | Updated: Wed, Sep 19, 2012

    A woman recently fired from her job at a juvenile detention center in Muskogee County was charged with lewd molestation after a 15-year-old girl who had been detained at the center was found in the woman's bedroom.

  • Former Oklahoma DHS worker charged with wire fraud

    BY NOLAN CLAY | Published: Mon, Sep 17, 2012

    A retired DHS worker, Katharine A. Daugherty, has been charged in Oklahoma City federal court with wire fraud. Her attorney, Irven Box, said she has accepted responsibility for her actions and intends to plead guilty to the felony charge. A hearing is set for Wednesday.

  • Second Oklahoma City children's shelter licensed as existing DHS shelter nears capacity

    BY RANDY ELLIS | Published: Mon, Sep 10, 2012

    DHS has obtained a temporary license to open a second children's shelter in Oklahoma City as its existing shelter continues to operate at near capacity.

  • Oklahoma City man accused of inappropriately touching girls

    BY LEIGHANNE MANWARREN | Updated: Wed, Sep 5, 2012

    Police arrested an Oklahoma City man on multiple complaints of lewd acts with a child under 16.

  • Oklahoma City Public Schools bully hotline lets community 'stand for the silent'

    BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL | Updated: Sun, Sep 2, 2012

    More than 150 reports have been made to the new Oklahoma City Public Schools bullying hotline, which launched Aug. 1.

  • Former Oklahoma City police sergeant pleads guilty to sexual abuse charges

    BY TIM WILLERT | Updated: Tue, Aug 21, 2012

    In a plea deal, former Oklahoma City police Sgt. Maurice A. Martinez was given two years in the county jail. He had faced multiple charges of sexually abusing his three adopted sons.

  • Two named to Oklahoma DHS governing board

    BY MICHAEL MCNUTT | Updated: Fri, Aug 17, 2012

    Gov. Mary Fallin names two women from Edmond to fill a vacancy caused by the death of a DHS commissioner and to replace a member whose term expires. The commission is the governing body for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

  • Afton couple charged with child abuse

    BY SHEILA STOGSDILL | Published: Fri, Aug 10, 2012

    A 36-day-old baby boy was taken to a hospital in March with broken bones and possible brain damage, authorities said.

  • Student debt follows growing number of borrowers into their 50s, 60s, including in Oklahoma

    BY SILAS ALLEN | Updated: Sun, Aug 5, 2012

    Overall, Americans owed $902 billion in student loan debt at the end of the first quarter of 2012, according to data from the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Although the largest share of the nation's student debt — 34 percent — belonged to borrowers ages 30-39, the debt held by those ages 50 and...

  • Casino night supports legal services for children

    BY KEN RAYMOND | Updated: Fri, Aug 3, 2012

    Oklahoma Lawyers for Children is having a fundraising casino night in September. The nonprofit provides free legal services to children in state custody.

  • Oklahoma Department of Human Services reform plan approved

    BY NOLAN CLAY | Updated: Wed, Jul 25, 2012

    Three out-of-state experts have approved an Oklahoma DHS plan to reform its child welfare system.

  • Family members urge Oklahoma DHS panel not to close center

    Published: Tue, Jul 24, 2012

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The possibility of closing a facility in Pauls Valley that houses some of Oklahoma's most severely developmentally disabled residents is drawing impassioned pleas from some family members of the more than 120 people who live there. Several family members spoke out Tuesday...

  • Man accused of child sex abuse helped train Oklahoma child welfare supervisors

    BY RANDY ELLIS AND ANDREW KNITTLE | Published: Mon, Jul 23, 2012

    A former University of Oklahoma social work professor who is awaiting trial on charges of sexually abusing children helped train Oklahoma Department of Human Services child welfare supervisors, records reveal.

  • Shawnee stepmother convicted in child abuse death

    BY RANDY ELLIS | Published: Thu, Jul 19, 2012

    A Shawnee woman was sentenced to life in prison plus 25 years Wednesday in the 2009 child abuse death of her 6-year-old stepdaughter, Alexis Morris.

  • Wes Lane, former Oklahoma County prosecutor, is new DHS chairman

    BY RANDY ELLIS | Updated: Wed, Jul 11, 2012

    Gov. Mary Fallin appointed Wes Lane on Wednesday to serve as chairman of the Oklahoma Commission for Human Services.

  • Murdered Oklahoma girl's mother files $3 million claim against state

    BY NOLAN CLAY | Updated: Sun, Jul 8, 2012

    Serenity Deal's mother is seeking $3 million from the state for herself and her children. She blames negligent acts by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services for Serenity's “untimely passing.”

  • Midwest City probation officer accused of sexually assaulting boy

    BY TIM WILLERT | Updated: Fri, Jul 6, 2012

    A 17-year-old boy claims sexual abuse by Robert Naugle, an Oklahoma Corrections Department officer, foster parent and counselor, Midwest City police say.

  • Two DHS workers fired after mentally disabled woman forced to eat jalapeno peppers

    BY NOLAN CLAY | Published: Sun, Jun 24, 2012

    Two DHS workers were fired in May after officials concluded a mentally disabled woman was forced to eat jalapeno peppers mixed into her food. The woman lives at the Southern Oklahoma Resource Center in Pauls Valley. The former employees are seeking reinstatement and deny the accusations.

  • Canadian County court clerk's race remains nasty

    BY ANDREW KNITTLE | Updated: Tue, Jun 19, 2012

    The race for the Canadian County court clerk's office, which has become one of the nastiest contests in the state, is winding down as next week's primary approaches.

  • Attorneys want $9.5 million for legal work on Oklahoma DHS lawsuit

    BY NOLAN CLAY AND RANDY ELLIS | Updated: Tue, Jun 19, 2012

    Children's Rights, a New York-based advocacy group, asked a judge Monday for $9.5 million for attorneys' work on the lawsuit that pushed the Oklahoma Department of Human Services into reforming its child-welfare practices.

  • Former DHS commissioner requests rescission of public reprimand

    BY RANDY ELLIS | Updated: Thu, Jun 14, 2012

    Former DHS Commissioner Steven Dow wants the Oklahoma Ethics Commission to rescind its recent public reprimand of him.

  • DHS commissioner resigns as chairman

    BY RANDY ELLIS | Updated: Tue, Jun 12, 2012

    DHS Commissioner Brad Yarbrough will continue to serve as a regular commission member.

  • Oklahoma DHS hires search firm to find new director candidates

    BY NOLAN CLAY | Published: Tue, Jun 12, 2012

    The Oklahoma Department of Human Services has hired Neher & Associates, a California company, to identify candidates for the agency's top position.


Oklahoman Editorials

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DHS Investigative Team

Nolan Clay

Sr. Reporter

Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials, exposed shysters and resulted in reforms in such areas as day care oversight and workers' compensation court. He is a proud father and longtime fan of University of Oklahoma football. His wedding in 2001 was on the 50-yard line of OU's football field.

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.

The Oklahoman's Watchdog team is a dedicated group of journalists here to expose corruption in Oklahoma. If you have any information about possible fraud, waste or abuse click on the
Whistle Blower link above or call
(405) 475-3322 and let us know.