To the delight of just about everyone who works in or around Oklahoma government, Preston Doerflinger – the embattled, bitter and angry right-hand man of Mary Fallin – stepped down as interim director of the Oklahoma Department of Health. He also resigned as director of the government agency conglomerate OMES.
As I'm sure you know, the resignations came hours after The Frontier's report about a "domestic disturbance" that occurred at his residence in 2013. Here are the details from The Step Up Oklahoma Newsletter:
Preston Doerflinger resigned from posts atop the state's administration Tuesday — one day after media reports of domestic violence.
Doerflinger had been interim commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health and secretary of finance, administration and information technology.
He submitted his resignation as interim commissioner to the board of health during an executive session on Tuesday afternoon. The governor later confirmed he had resigned from his other position.
Did you notice that The Oklahoman didn't give The Frontier any credit for breaking a story that got a sleazy government official fired? That's cool! Welcome to the "No Respect" club, Frontier! It gets lonely in here sometimes. You know you're doing a good job when The Oklahoman won't give you credit.
Despite the facts that A) Doerflinger is known around the capitol for his temper, and B) the domestic abuse allegations have been floating around for at least three years, Mary Fallin is playing dumb. She issued a statement that mostly praised Doerflinger for his service:
“The board of the Oklahoma State Department of Health has accepted the resignation of Preston Doerflinger as interim commissioner. He has also resigned as secretary of finance, administration and information technology.
“Preston has played a critical role in state government, serving as director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, and Cabinet secretary of finance, administration and information technology. During the past seven years, his efforts saved tax dollars by implementing cost-saving reforms and consolidating state agencies. He also helped guide the Department of Human Services during a critical time when key reforms, such as the Pinnacle Plan, were implemented. I appreciate his service to the state.
Yeah, that's right. Hours after her right-hand man stepped down after he was outed for choking his then wife, Mary Fallin lauded him for the good work he's done as Secretary of Finance and Administration for a state that continually finds itself in a budget crisis.
Mary waited to address the domestic violence stuff at the end:
“I was unaware of the personal situation involving Preston and his ex-wife almost six years ago. Mrs. Doerflinger did not contact my office about this matter. I take domestic violence very seriously, but I will take Mrs. Doerflinger at her word that this matter was not a case of domestic violence. I respect Preston’s decision to move on from his government service, and wish him and his family the best.”
Once again, we first heard about the domestic violence allegations in 2015. Word has been floating around for a while. You're telling me that Mary Fallin didn't have a clue?!?
Actually, that's very believable. Outside of what Larry Nichols tells her, I don't think Mary knows what's going on in her administration.
Doerflingers' ex wife – the woman who called 911 after Doerflinger held her against a wall and choked her – issued this statement to us and The Tulsa World:
Yeah, what family hasn't experienced a "bad night" when dad got mad and choked mom after she called him out for having an affair? It wasn't a serious situation at all.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see what Doerflinger does after all this. I think he's going to have a hard time finding another $189,000 a year job. Unless you play football, the job market is pretty dry right now for men who abuse women.