Agency adds director from Hawaii
An administrator with Hawaii's Department of Human Services has been selected to serve as executive director of the state Rehabilitation Services Department. Joe Cordova, who served the past seven years as an administrator in Hawaii's vocational rehabilitation services division, will start his new duties Sept. 3. Cordova, who has 35 years of federal and state experience dealing with disability services, was the first person with a disability to lead that division. He was born legally blind. David Ligon, chief of staff for the state Rehabilitation Services Department, is serving as acting director. Cordova will direct more than 1,000 state employees who served 92,070 Oklahomans with disabilities in 2012. Agency programs focus on vocational rehabilitation, employment, independent living, residential and outreach education programs and the determination of medical eligibility for disability benefits. During his tenure in Hawaii, the average wages of clients increased every year. His accomplishments included establishing a new service center for Hawaiians who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind. He will succeed Michael O'Brien, who resigned in April because of personal matters.
Late lawmaker to be honored
Several state lawmakers will unveil a stretch of highway Thursday that will be named in honor of Rep. Sue Tibbs, who died last year. Legislation passed and signed into law in 2012 designated a portion of U.S. 169 in Tulsa as the “Representative Sue Tibbs Memorial Highway.” Reps. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa, Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, and Pam Peterson, R-Tulsa, along with state Public Safety Commissioner Michael Thompson, will unveil the memorial signs during a news conference Thursday at the Tulsa Technology Center. Tibbs, a Republican from Tulsa who served as chairman of the House of Representatives Public Safety Committee, died in April 2012 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT, CAPITOL BUREAU