OKLAHOMA CITY—Governor Mary Fallin today accepted the resignations of Commissioners Steven Dow and Anne Roberts of the Oklahoma Commission for Human Services.
The resignations were offered after a letter by the Oklahoma Ethics Commission identified a conflict of interest concerning Dow’s simultaneous service as both a DHS commissioner and chief executive officer of the Community Action Project, a charitable corporation which operates daycare and child education facilities. Roberts, although not named in the Ethics Commission letter, resigned to address a potential conflict between her service as a commissioner and her employment with Integris Heath.
Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City, worked closely with both commissioners in his role as chair of the four member House Working Group on DHS and as a participant in The Pinnacle Plan working group.
“The reality and timing of Steven and Anne’s departure is very unfortunate for the ongoing reforms that both played such a critical part in helping bring about,” said Nelson. “It seems Commissioner Dow went out of his way to avoid any conflicts so the news is even more disappointing.
"Steven and Anne are exactly the kind of volunteer public servants we need more of and I’m sorry to see them leave the commission. Because of the relevant experiences both Steven and Anne brought to the commission it made them extremely effective in helping prevent an ill advised trial in the Children’s Rights class action lawsuit and in helping craft the first-of-its-kind plan to reform our child welfare system under the unique settlement agreement in the lawsuit.”
Governor Fallin said she valued the service of both Dow and Roberts.
“Both Steven Dow and Anne Roberts are dedicated public servants who have poured countless hours into their roles at the Department of Human Services.” Fallin said. “Their work on the Pinnacle Plan, for example, will help to ensure that a new wave of reforms can be implemented at DHS that better care for children in state custody. Both have also been essential in the search for a new director.
“My thanks go out to Steven and Anne for their years of service as well as the selflessness they continue to exhibit by their actions today.”