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Friday, October 08, 2010

Perfect Example of Government Disaster

Michael McNutt knocked it out of the park with his story in the Oklahoman about a House panel investigating legal costs for two of my favorite government money-suckers:  The Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.  Gorilla Rants has brought to your attention previously the deplorable condition of much of the Department of Human Services and if you've been alive and breathing in Oklahoma, you know for a fact that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation needs an audit as badly as Obama needs a teleprompter.

Concerning DHS, McNutt writes:
Charlie Waters, general counsel for the Department of Human Services, said his agency has paid about $2 million the past two years to a Tulsa law firm to defend a major class-action case filed in federal courts by attorneys from Children's Rights, a national child advocacy group, and four other law firms. The lawsuit seeks to place the state's foster care and child welfare system under a federal court order because of alleged violations, he said.
Waters said the firm, Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison and Lewis, was paid $958,455 during the 2010 fiscal year.

This is a very telling story...look at the names mentioned of the above mentioned law firm.  Sound familiar?  DHS is a disaster.  While some branch offices seem to run rather well - in spite of the lack of efficacious leadership from Howard Hendrick (a Frank Keating appointee, mind you), the news is replete with stories of children who have been placed in danger and some have lost their lives as a result.  Oklahomans should, in my opinion, be supportive of any legislative move to audit DHS and eventually, get rid of current leadership with impunity.

And then the story moves on to ODOT, where we find Gary Ridley (probably the state's highest paid bureaucrat) basically whining about the House panel where he feels "ambushed."
Gary Ridley, who serves as director of both the Transportation Department and the Turnpike Authority, was in the meeting but not given a chance to respond. He said after he left the meeting he felt he was ambushed.
"We certainly were not advised ahead of time that they were going to bring up specific cases," he said.
It's hard being Ridley...accountability is not something I would argue he is used to.  With Oklahoma being at the bottom of the infrastructure totem pole, Ridley and the administrative staff have a long way to go before they can whine about being "ambushed."  You would be hard-pressed to find anything of value where ODOT is concerned, with the exception of perhaps the men and women on the front lines, working their asses off during the hot summers while Ridley and his entourage make excuses.  And I find it absolutely fascinating to find out the Ridley also works for the Turnpike Authority.  The way I look at it, Ridley must have some dirt on someone in high places to be able to keep both jobs...Oklahoma is well known for its horrible infrastructure.

Kudos to Representative Mark McCullough for putting the screws to these bureaucrats who seem to think that taxpayer dollars are an entitlement to them, and a hat-tip to one of the only reasons anyone actually buys the Oklahoman any more - Michael McNutt.

Read the entire story here.