December 2, 2023


Professional waiter experts

Head of Tourism resigns and the state sues over Foggy Bottom Kitchen scandal

The head of the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation has stepped down and the point out has filed a lawsuit versus the operator of Swadley’s Foggy Bottom Kitchen area places to eat amid a increasing scandal in excess of questionable expending. 

Gov. Kevin Stitt, flanked by Lt. Gov. and Secretary of Tourism Matt Pinnell, introduced the resignation of Tourism Director Jerry Winchester and the lawsuit in the course of a brief media visual appeal at the Oklahoma Capitol on Friday. 

The Frontier first documented on Foggy Bottom’s agreement with the point out that reimbursed the cafe company for its losses. One condition lawmaker afterwards referred to as the arrangement a “sweetheart offer.” The Frontier also first documented Foggy Bottom billed the Tourism Division additional expenses and inflated costs for restaurant gear. 

The Tourism Department’s two-website page lawsuit submitted Friday afternoon in Oklahoma County District Courtroom does not accuse Foggy Bottom of any fiscal wrongdoing, but statements the company did not honor a “duty and obligation” to allow the point out examine its economic statements on a yearly basis. 

“As a outcome of (Foggy Bottom) understanding, reckless and willful refusal to comply with its obligations and to deliver an accounting, (the point out) has been broken,” the lawsuit claims. 

In a statement, the cafe corporation stated it was “proud of the work” it has accomplished at state parks and is “heartbroken for the hundreds of staff whose livelihoods are straight impacted” by the abrupt closure of restaurants previously this week. 

Stitt and Pinnell did not acquire questions pursuing the announcement citing the ongoing investigations and litigation.

Stitt claimed Pinnell would be taking “an even far more associated purpose in the Section of Tourism.”

“It’s significant that we get to the bottom of this situation,” Stitt reported. “(Pinnell) will make sure the agency is appropriately managed and is using all the required ways to tackle fast troubles with suppliers and personnel.”

Winchester mentioned in his resignation letter he felt it was “necessary to resign as government director” of the Tourism Section quickly. 

“I am assured that the latest audits will reveal that the division has been performing in the greatest pursuits of the point out and we will entirely cooperate to make certain a swift resolution,” he wrote.

Winchester did not return many requests for remark pursuing the announcement.