“He built a stronger, better health department and left it in perfect shape,” Cagle said. “It’s the truth.”
The criticisms in 2013 were contained in both a 42-page audit and a separate letter to the board.
Among the findings was that Cox let an employee work part time at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department while she worked full time for the Tulsa Health Department. Auditors reported officials at the Tulsa Health Department, where Cox had been in charge before coming to Oklahoma City, did not know about the arrangement.
Auditors also reported on seven occasions the employee used sick, annual or personal leave in Tulsa to work in Oklahoma City, resulting in possible time sheet fraud as well as a “conflict of interest.”
In an example of blatant favoritism, the same employee was later promoted in Oklahoma City to a $107,508-a-year position as a director over 25 employees even though an internal committee had concluded she was “unsuited for management,” auditors reported.
Auditors noted that the city-county health department gave its leadership 7.5% raises in 2012 while all other employees got 2.5% raises. Later, some in leadership got further raises — up to 13.5% — from money saved by voluntary buyouts. An employee promoted to the Leadership Team got a 90% raise.
On spending, auditors questioned the use of purchase cards to pay $357 for meals for two retirement parties, $10,933 for a food and water pantry for employees, $1,038 for two employees to go to an “International Pool Spa Patio Expo” in Las Vegas and $20 on a gift card for a retiring volunteer.
“Controls are not being followed … which has led to numerous unallowable purchases,” auditors reported.
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