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

News | Updated: Mon, Apr 27, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment
The Oklahoma Department of Labor is investigating wage complaints filed by 19 former employees of two financially failed medical billing companies headquartered in Norman.

Shawnee man accused of stealing nearly $200K from Oklahoma Indian tribe

News Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015

A Shawnee man is accused of embezzling nearly $200,000 from a small business program funded by the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the largest employer in Pottawatomie County.

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.

Recent Investigation packages from the coverage team

Fired Oklahoma Veterans Affairs investigator is charged with 26 counts

News | Published: Fri, Apr 24, 2015
Steven B. Pancoast Jr., a fired Oklahoma Veterans Affairs Department investigator, is charged with perjury, forgery and other crimes. The accusations already have had an impact on pending criminal cases and investigations where he was involved.

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

News | Updated: Fri, Apr 24, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment
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.

Former suspect in Bethany killing is now being considered for parole in Oklahoma

News | Updated: Tue, Apr 21, 2015
Jimmy Massey, who was arrested and later released in connection with the 2011 death of 19-year-old Carina Saunders, has been serving a 10-year sentence for drugs.

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

News | Updated: Tue, Apr 21, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment
In Stroud, elementary school students were shown a movie about slavery in which the N-word was reportedly used several times.

Experimental coating linked to bridge closure

News | Updated: Mon, Apr 13, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment
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.

Use of pepper spray in Oklahoma's juvenile jails criticized; staff say it's necessary for safety's sake

News | Updated: Mon, Apr 13, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment
Several Office of Juvenile Affairs board members are speaking out against using pepper spray on incarcerated youth, saying “they are still kids.”

Seeking clemency: Oklahoma woman seeks change in 30-year child abuse sentence

News | Updated: Mon, Apr 6, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment
In 2006, Oklahoma woman Tondalo Hall pleaded guilty to permitting the abuse of her two young children. She received two 15-year sentences, to run one after another. The children’s father, Robert Braxton Jr., who admitted to breaking the leg, ribs and toe of his 3-month-old daughter, didn’t go to prison after making a plea agreement.

Norman medical billing company's financial failure prompts lawsuit

News | Updated: Mon, Apr 6, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment
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.

Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma's secrecy frustrates county commissioners

News | Updated: Mon, Mar 23, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment
Leaders of the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma have operated under such secrecy that even county commissioners who are members of the association have been rebuffed in efforts to find out how much the association’s executive director is paid.

Oklahoma's Internet access, speed lags nation

News | Updated: Mon, Mar 30, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment
Nearly half of all Oklahomans — and 89 percent of those in rural areas — lack access to internet speeds of 25 megabits per second for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads.

Oklahoma veterans agency chief investigator accused of being fake police officer

News | Updated: Mon, Mar 23, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment
Oklahoma Veterans Affairs Department investigator Steven B. Pancoast Jr. was fired and is facing prosecution after authorities concluded he is a fraud.

Edmond parents' lawsuit over baby son's death hits roadblock

News | Updated: Mon, Mar 9, 2015
Zane and Leah Hedger filed wrongful death lawsuit against their son’s baby sitter, Traci Kramer. The baby sitter, who denies wrongdoing, filed a bankruptcy petition, automatically staying the federal case.

DHS admits mistakes found after foster mom murdered 2 -year-old girl placed in her care

News | Updated: Mon, Mar 16, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment
A DHS supervisor failed to fully investigate the background of a Tahlequah woman before approving her as a foster mother. A little more than three months later, the foster mother murdered a 2-year-old girl placed in her care. DHS workers also twice failed to call the DHS child abuse and neglect hotline after the girl was hurt in the foster home.

Oklahoma City to pay $75,000 to settle police brutality lawsuit

News | Published: Sun, Mar 8, 2015
Newcastle man alleges police officers violated his rights, arresting him under false pretenses and beating him excessively a month after three drinking companions partially paralyzed off-duty Oklahoma City police officer Chad Peery at a bar. The Oklahoma City Council last week agreed to pay $75,000 to settle the federal lawsuit against two current and two former officers.

Strippers bare all at new Valley Brook club

News | Updated: Sun, Mar 1, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment
After years of rumors, planning and public debate, an all-nude strip club is up and running in Valley Brook. The club is a rare entity in present-day Oklahoma, which saw most of its all-nude clubs vanish in the 1980s.

Oklahoma State University stadium lawsuit gets settled

News | Updated: Mon, Feb 9, 2015 | Comment on this article Leave a comment
Representatives of contractors who did renovation work on Oklahoma State University’s football stadium agreed to pay $700,000 to settle a lawsuit over plumbing system failures that caused sewage stench to permeate the locker room.

Ongoing Investigations - Archived Coverage Pages


What's Inside

The Oklahoman wins 3 First Amendment Awards

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

Robby Trammell

Assistant Managing Editor

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

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.

Andrew Knittle

Investigative Reporter

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.

Rick Green

Capitol Bureau Chief
Rick Green is the Capitol Bureau Chief of The Oklahoman. A graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., he worked as news editor for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City before joining The Oklahoman.

Jennifer Palmer

Investigative Reporter

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.