Oklahoma Corrections Department director says living arrangement is permitted

by Randy Ellis Modified: April 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm •  Published: April 23, 2013
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Corrections Department Director Justin Jones is living with an employee of his department, which has prompted some state officials to question whether he is in violation of state personnel policies, Jones said.

Jones, however, told The Oklahoman on Tuesday that he fully disclosed his living arrangement with Peggy Carter to then-Gov. Brad Henry, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and others when he was first hired.

‘Improvements'?

Jones said he was told state statutes permitted the living arrangement, as long as he didn't “improve” on it, because he was already living with Carter at the time he was hired.

“I'm pretty transparent,” he said.

The director said his understanding is that marriage would be considered an “improvement” on the relationship — and a violation — so the couple hasn't married, although he hopes to marry her in the future.

Jones said he and Carter have been living together about 15 years, and he became director about eight years ago.

Personnel policy

A state personnel policy says: “Employment of any person in a position which results in the immediate supervision by a relative, or permanent placement in a position resulting in relatives occupying positions within a division, facility, district, unit or office where one relative occupies a supervisory position in the ‘chain of command' regarding another relative is prohibited.”


by Randy Ellis
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...
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