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New State Auditor report exposes more waste and corruption in Stitt – Walters regime…

1:43 PM EDT on June 27, 2023

In hindsight, I guess handing a shady businessman and his little cronies the keys to the Oklahoma government was a bad idea.

Earlier today, we learned via the Ogle Mole Network that Oklahoma State Auditor Cindy Byrd was dropping a report that would detail and document more wasteful spending and corruption from the Stitt and Walters regime, specifically as to how they handled and distributed Federal CARES funding that was supposed to help struggling families during the pandemic. 

Only a few minutes after I hit the publish button, a link to the 256-page report and an accompanying 5-page press release was magically DMed to me on Twitter. 

Some of the auditor's findings regarding the federal grifts of the Stitt and Walters regime – like the “Bridge The Gap” grift that let parents buy TVs, power tools, patio furniture, etc. – have already been exposed by the media, but the report contained information about some new scandals that are fresher than a hot cup of java from the Harbor Mountain Coffee House. 

For example, the auditor has concluded that Team Stitt blatantly disregarded rules and regulations and enabled corruption when distributing funds for the “Stay in School” program – a $10-million GEER initiative that was supposed to help people financially impacted by the pandemic cover their private school tuition.

According to the Auditor, the program implemented “a deliberate operation to give selected private schools and individuals preferential treatment” and that “$6.5 million worth of grant funds were identified as questionable because the grant objectives were disregarded.” 

The report also claims that as a result of this blatant corruption, 657 students of low-income families who qualified for the SIS program did not get the financial assistance they requested because the funds were exhausted. 

Check this out:

Friendly reminder – that is just a quick summary of the grifty implementation of this program. You can read more about it in the full report, including how an old Janet Barresi operative – Jennifer Carter – helped influence which schools got money. I can't wait to see what the government watchdogs at the OCPA – like her husband Ray Carter – say about that.

In addition to exposing the details of that program, Cindy Byrd – a lifelong Republican – called into question the lack of state oversight in the distribution of GEER funding, the involvement of special interest groups, and the collection of student data. 

Ultimately, this is what she had to say about the mismanagement of Federal CARES funding under the Stitt Administration, which the state may have to pay back to the FEDS: 

“Oklahoma has systemic issues that make me very concerned for taxpayers. When federal grant money is spent incorrectly, the federal government has the authority to demand repayment from the people of Oklahoma. If the federal government decides the State must pay back these questioned costs, you and I will end up paying the bill. If that happens, gross mismanagement and lack of compliance and oversight will be to blame. The State of Oklahoma dropped the ball on compliance and oversight.”

Yep, there’s a decent chance we’ll all have to foot the bill for the free TVs and shady private school reimbursement dollars Stitt and Walters dolled out to their buddies who want to sabotage and destroy public education in Oklahoma. How’s that for the Oklahoma Standard!

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummon has also issued a statement regarding the findings:

“The audit report is deeply troubling and illustrates the need for an investigative audit of GEER funds, which I requested shortly after taking office. A number of concerning items from the audit will require further investigation. I refuse to tolerate what amounts to a pervasive culture of waste, mismanagement and apparent fraud.”

Anyway, I’m sure that as I’m writing this or you’re reading it, the Stitt and Walters communications teams are hard at work writing statements calling the audit details fake news or all part of some liberal woke conspiracy. If they do, we’ll provide an update. 

In the meantime, I guess I’m going to try to read the 256-page audit without falling asleep. If you want to give it a shot and share any observations, check it out below and leave a comment. Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised. 

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