Oklahoma Legal professional Basic John O’Connor stated he doesn’t want to be a “hotheaded prosecutor” and has no existing options to examine a controversial state deal with Swadley’s Foggy Bottom Kitchen area restaurants at state parks.
O’Connor, who is the state’s maximum-rating law enforcement formal, mentioned he hadn’t reviewed Foggy Bottom’s agreement and is ready for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to complete hunting into the make any difference.
“So I just wait for them to do that since otherwise, you have a circumstance with a hotheaded prosecutor,” O’Connor explained. “You have anyone in the AG’s office environment who’s obtained a very powerful feeling of suitable and completely wrong, a incredibly powerful sense of protecting the taxpayers’ money, but also a level head and doesn’t shoot before aiming.”
In the absence of action from O’Connor, Oklahoma County District Legal professional David Prater questioned OSBI to investigate the Foggy Base offer in March after The Frontier reported on millions of bucks the state had poured into remodeling places to eat, management fees and covering the company’s money losses.
This week, Prater also asked State Auditor Cindy Byrd to carry out a forensic audit on Foggy Bottom and its offer with the condition and work with OSBI to figure out if any Oklahoma statutes have been violated.
“The alleged perform has resulted in at minimum $4,500,000 in extreme payments to Swadley’s by the Point out of Oklahoma,” Prater reported in a letter to Byrd initial reported by KFOR.
“I have not looked at any of that but,” O’Connor claimed Tuesday all through a brief interview with The Frontier. “I’ve seen the articles or blog posts but I have not appeared at the contracts.”
The Foggy Bottom deal has so significantly cost Oklahoma taxpayers $16.7 million, in accordance to a report from the Oklahoma Legislative Business of Fiscal Transparency. As The Frontier first claimed, the point out paid out Foggy Bottom at least $546,890 in added management and consulting expenses tacked on top rated of building prices and cafe devices that ended up not outlined in the contract. The Frontier also observed a lot of items of the kitchen area products priced noticeably less expensive than what the state paid and quite a few invoices lacked detailed information and facts.
O’Connor mentioned he’s ready to see if there’s “actually a hearth producing all this smoke” right before finding associated, but would take into account using motion if more evidence of wrongdoing surfaced.
“Every a single of us is entitled to that kind of deliberate safety of our personal rights from getting unlimited funded governments occur crashing down on us devoid of getting finished their research,” O’Connor stated.
O’Connor’s hesitancy to search into the Foggy Base contract will come 1 day soon after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt hinted the timing of the tales encompassing Swadley’s could possibly be politically inspired.
“It’s variety of peculiar that all this things comes about on an election 12 months,” Stitt mentioned.
Stitt went on to say if there is “a vendor out there or there’s a agreement that this deal or this vendor is not undertaking accurately, or overcharging the state, we will discover that out, we will terminate that, we will sue that seller, and we will get the taxpayers’ income again.”