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Oklahoma Insurance Department communication director resigns

Oklahoma Insurance Department email: Writer of inappropriate email was channeling Monty Python; resigns after being given the choice to quit or be fired.
BY DON MECOY Published: February 11, 2012

The state Insurance Department's communications director who wrote and inadvertently delivered an email containing vulgar language was given the choice of quitting or being fired, Commissioner John D. Doak said Friday.

Glenn Craven, who handled media relations and communications for the agency, resigned Friday morning. Craven, who earned about $56,000 a year according to state records, had been in the job for about a year.

“It's starts with me; it has to come back to me,” he said. “I know how this happened, and it's my fault.”

Doak said Craven would have been fired if he had not chosen to resign.

“I think that given the gravity and with a mistake of that magnitude and in the role, it was really the appropriate thing to do,” Doak said.

The agency Thursday issued an email seeking nominations for awards for a tornado preparedness seminar in Oklahoma City next month. The email said the Insurance Commissioner's Award would be “presented to the girl with the biggest t - - -.”

Media members and insurance industry officials were among those who received the email. The agency issued a “corrected and authorized” version about 30 minutes later, then issued an apology for the original version.

Craven said while typing the list of awards, he recalled an episode of the British television program “Monty Python's Flying Circus” in which the offending phrase was used.

“It just pops into my head,” Craven said. “I type this, laughed, and then didn't get it deleted. I don't know what happened that caused me not to delete it at that point.”

Craven, 45, said the job he held at the Insurance Department was his first job in government after working at small newspapers in Kansas and North Carolina for 20 years.

“I understand there are people offended, and I'm sorry,” he said. “I apologize to them and all the people of Oklahoma, because I was at work for them.”

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