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Logan County Commission upset over “party” donation

LOGAN COUNTY, Okla. - It’s an audit that has Logan County commissioners upset over the way some of their money is being handled.

The recently released audit of the Oklahoma Cooperative Circuit Engineering District Board uncovered what it called several “questionable purchases.”

One of those was a donation to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation of $5,000 for its 100 year anniversary.

The department held celebrations at their offices across the state.

“That’s our money. That’s the people’s money. And, they shouldn’t be just frivolously giving it away to have a party basically,” said Logan County District 1 Commissioner Marven Goodman.

The OCCEDB oversees districts of counties and allows them to pool their money together to use engineers and designers for road and bridge projects.

It’s supposed to help counties work together and maximize their dollar, but Goodman said the audit shows otherwise.

“It’s an indicator of how they feel about our funding, if they just give away $5,000 to have a party,” Goodman said.

“Majority of our projects are big, new construction projects that are led through the department, so that partnership is incredibly important to us, and it’s about opening that up to people and the public, celebrating that,” said OCCEDB Executive Director Randy Robinson.

Robinson said his eight member board, made up of county commissioners, approved the donation.

“We want to partner and facilitate our projects and working with ODOT, and it was kind of a win, win,” Robinson said.

“We could’ve used that to help our roads and bridges. That’ll buy a lot of asphalt,” Goodman said.

ODOT sent us this statement about the donation:

“The Oklahoma Department of Transportation's 100th anniversary took place in 2011 and was an opportunity to do educational outreach including a commemorative book for sale well into the future and which remains on sale today. The year-long cost was $134,000 and to date more than half of those funds have been recouped with book sales and remaining inventory to be sold.

The department and several industry partners came together and sponsored events like open houses inviting the public and department employees to attend. The $5,000 identified in the Oklahoma Cooperative Circuit Engineering Districts Board audit, while never passed through the department, seems to have gone toward those events.”