Correction: Gov. Stitt’s name was misspelled in one instance. The misspelling has been corrected.

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Elliot Chambers, the Secretary of the Oklahoma Commission of Land Office, resigned from his position following allegations that he fired an internal auditor who questioned him about potential conflict of interest.

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Elliot Chambers, State of Oklahoma photo

Chambers’ resignation was announced during a special commission meeting on Thursday.

Gov. Kevin Stitt, who was at the meeting, sitting at the head of the table, said Chambers came to him Tuesday and told him he was going to resign. He thanked Chambers for his service.

“He’s always welcome in the locker room,” Stitt said of Chambers.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, who is also one of five CLO members, recently called for Chambers to resign. She also sent a letter on Wednesday to Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, asking him to investigate the CLO’s operations and finances.

“Enclosed with this request are documents provided by the CLO’s former internal auditor detailing potential mismanagement and misuse of taxpayer funds and improper use of office by a state official,” Hofmeister said in the letter. “Additional information has since been presented that leaves me with further doubt that the agency has been led in compliance with laws and rules, including but not limited to conflicts of interest, self-dealing and misappropriation of taxpayer funds. As a result, I am making this request of your office.”

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Commissioners of the Land Office Special Meeting, June 30, 2022. Image KFOR

The State Department of Education issued a news release, saying Chambers fired Erin Morgan, an internal auditor who confronted him about potential conflicts of interest.

Hofmeister asked that the CLO meeting include discussion about Chambers’ employment, as well as Morgan’s firing and subsequent settlement.

She said Morgan’s allegations, as well as allegations from another whistleblower, warrant an investigative audit of the CLO’s operations and finances.

“As I have said recently, the concerns raised by the former internal auditor at the Commissioners of the Land Office are alarming and need to be fully investigated,” she said. “Since that time, additional information has been presented that leaves me without confidence in the direction of the agency under Secretary Chambers. As a result, I believe it is in Oklahoma’s best interest that Secretary Chambers immediately resign and respectfully call on him to do so.”

Morgan had questioned Chambers about his relationship with Victorum Capital, an investments firm doing business with the CLO. Commissioners voted 2-1 on Dec. 16, 2021, to give Victorum authority to manage direct investments for the CLO.

Hofmeister objected to the action. She later asked Chambers to request an attorney general opinion on whether the 2-1 vote is lawful, but Chambers refused. She then asked Attorney General John O’Connor to provide an opinion on the 2-1 approval, according to the news release.

O’Connor indicated he needed Hofmeister’s opinion on the matter before he would decide whether to provide an opinion. The news release described O’Connor’s response as “peculiar.”