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Wages of secrecy

by Ray Carter Published: July 11, 2013

In 2012, Oklahoma lawmakers provided a $2 million appropriation to a privately run youth livestock show. The appropriation wasn’t publicized. It drew much criticism when it became public, particularly since it appears the money was obtained by cutting much-needed prison funds.

It’s since been learned that the appropriation was a bailout. The private livestock show had run up debts it couldn’t pay. A lawsuit was filed to reclaim the state funds.

This week, the lawsuit was tossed. Apparently, no lawyers were notified of the hearing and no one showed up. Now the lawsuit will likely be re-filed. The controversy, and legal expense for the state, will continue — all because legislators didn’t want to publicly acknowledge how they were spending taxpayer dollars.

They should have kept in mind the old admonishment: What’s done in the dark will be brought to the light.

by Ray Carter
Editorial Writer
Ray Carter joined The Oklahoman in May 2012 after serving as Media Director for the Oklahoma House of Representatives for over seven years. A native of Oklahoma, Carter has worked in the newspaper and public relations businesses since 1998.
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