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Oklahoma House member calls for investigation into nonprofit's ties to Education Department

Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman asked for an investigation Tuesday into the state Education Department's relationship with the Foundation for Innovation in Education, a nonprofit that paid for a 2011 conference.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND mrolland@opubco.com Published: March 21, 2012
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Oklahoma Minority House Leader Scott Inman called Tuesday for an investigation by the state Auditor and Inspector into the relationship between the state Education Department and a nonprofit that paid for expenses at a 2011 education conference.

Inman, D-Del City, wrote to state Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones quoting an article Tuesday in The Oklahoman that described how the Foundation for Innovation in Education paid for a 2011 education conference.

State schools Superintendent Janet Barresi, a Republican, was in office during the conference.

“According to the article, these actions mirror a similar practice by previous Education Department officials under the leadership of former state schools Superintendent Sandy Garrett, which your office investigated, then criticized,” Inman wrote.

An investigation released earlier this month by the auditor said Garrett, a longtime Democratic state schools superintendent, operated two accounts that appeared to be slush funds used to pay for annual education conferences.

Differences noted

Jones said what his investigators found being done under Garrett's administration was significantly different from what appears to have been done under Barresi's administration after a cursory examination of documents.

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