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Oklahoma DHS Commission votes to offer job

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.
by Randy Ellis Modified: October 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm •  Published: October 10, 2012

Lake worked 39 years for the Tennessee Department of Human Services — starting out as a front-line worker and working his way up to deputy commissioner — before retiring in February 2011.

Gordon Bonnyman Jr., executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center, described Lake as a “great guy” and “very able administrator” during a May interview with The Oklahoman.

Bonnyman said Lake distinguished himself when Tennessee experienced massive flooding two years ago.

“He just moved heaven and earth to get emergency food stamp … benefits out to people who had no previous experience with that whole set of benefits. He got out there in a way that respected their dignity and made it very accessible in circumstances in which much of the infrastructure was in shreds.”

Commissioners have been searching for a successor to Howard Hendrick, who resigned as Oklahoma's DHS director this year after spending 13 years as head of Oklahoma's largest state agency.

by 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...
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