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.
Tribes are required to collect taxes from nonmembers who purchase goods at their retail businesses but state officials admit they are powerless to conduct audits to find out if the correct amount of tax is being collected.
Despite new leadership and a series of reforms, the state Department of Human Services still is having some of the same old problems with its employees, records show. More than 125 DHS employees were fired, suspended without pay or demoted last year, the agency's disciplinary records show. DHS Ongoing Coverage
Mah-hi-vist Goodblanket, 18, died Dec. 21 in an incident with the Custer County Sheriff's Office. His parents say the shooting wasn't justified and dispute the Sheriff Bruce People's version of events.
An FBI investigation is underway into allegations that a husband and wife team committed a multimillion fraud against an Oklahoma State University-owned company engaged in sensitive national security research, The Oklahoman has confirmed.
A federal report placed the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center at the top of the list for sexual violence in female prisons, however, due to a pending lawsuit state Corrections Department officials declined to testify at a Department of Justice hearing on the matter this week.
It took less than a year for Oklahoma's package of prison reform laws to go from political darling to albatross. The Justice Reinvestment Initiative was touted in 2012 as a way for Oklahoma to reduce its prison population, help inmates with health or mental problems, and save money on future spending within the Corrections Department.
Part 2: Prison reform proves difficult for Oklahoma politicians
The town of Valley Brook, Oklahoma, generates about 80 percent of its revenue through police-related activities, but Police Chief Mike Stamp says he is not running a speed trap or writing tickets strictly to generate cash.
Oklahoma's state treasurer and state auditor presented clashing views on how to fix the state's $11.4 billion pension obligation problem this past week during a state House committee meeting that attracted an overflow crowd.
Competing against other large-market print publications in Texas and Oklahoma, The Oklahoman won three of 10 categories in a competition hosted by the Fort Worth Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
The NewsOK Watchdog Team
News Director, Investigative Team
Robby Trammell is news director for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com. During his 41-year career, he has received numerous reporting awards and civic honors. With The Oklahoman’s investigative team, he won a first-place spot news reporting award for coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing and exposed wrongdoing in the 1990 campaign of an Oklahoma governor. Their scoop — “Governor Secretly Indicted” — was heralded as the biggest political story in the paper’s history. The governor pleaded guilty. Trammell’s investigation of bid-rigging by Seminole County commissioners in the 1970s was a forerunner to a federal inquiry statewide that turned out to be one of the largest cases of public corruption in American history. Trammell has a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma. He teaches Media Ethics at the University of Central Oklahoma. He serves as a director on the board of the Oklahoma Press Association. He is an ordained deacon in The Episcopal Church.
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.
Capitol Bureau 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.
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real voice within the stories he covers. He joined The Oklahoman's staff in September 2011 after working for the Shawnee News-Star and The Norman Transcript for a combined three years.
Knittle, a Norman resident, is a 2008 graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, where he studied journalism.
Jennifer Palmer joined The Oklahoman staff in 2008 and, after five years on the business desk, is now digging deeper through investigative work. She's been recognized with awards in public service reporting and personal column writing. Prior to joining the The Oklahoman, she reported on breaking news and crime at The Omaha World-Herald and was a member of a team recognized by the American Society of Newspaper Editors for their coverage of the Westroads Mall shooting in 2007. Palmer is a native of Norman and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where she was also a columnist for The Oklahoma Daily.