OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The firestorm around Swadley’s Bar-B-Q and its Foggy Bottom Kitchen Restaurants continues to draw scrutiny from state lawmakers. 

“There are very much eyes on this,” said Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond. “There are some things that are pretty egregious.” 

Now, state reports are alleging even more corruption. 

Despite the Foggy Bottom Restaurant at Roman Nose being open and operating, a State Fire Marshal Report reveals Swadley’s did not obtain building permits.

“They did not obtain the proper permits to begin construction, yes,” confirmed James Fullingim, the Assistant Oklahoma State Fire Marshal. 

It appears that was a deliberate decision.

According to the August 2020 report, the vice president of Swadley’s told the agent, “no permits had been applied for and they didn’t submit plans on this restaurant or any of the other restaurants recently opened at State Parks.” 

However, the report says that while there, the agent found several “life safety issues.” According to the report, those include décor and building material blocking certain emergency lights and sprinkler heads, the fire alarm for the entire facility being in “trouble mode,” and “new deep frying appliances had been installed without the proper system review and that a deep fryer was not protected by a required extinguishing system.”

The agent allegedly documented the deficiencies on his phone and had the manager on duty sign a complaint form to acknowledge the violations. The agent also notified the Park Manager. 

“The public expects when they go to a public building, to a business they expect that will be safe,” said Fullingim. “If people totally disregard state-adopted minimal code, they can be putting the public at risk.” 

Later that day, according to the report, the agent got a call from Brent Swadley himself.

The report details Swadley allegedly saying, “This is bigger than you and there are more politics at play here than you could ever understand.”

Swadley allegedly also said, “Governor Stitt reached out to me to put my restaurants in his state parks” and added that the agent “will have to answer to Governor Stitt on the matter.” 

About an hour after talking to Swadley, the agent writes in the report about another call from the Deputy of Tourism, Gino Demarco who suggested, “the laws of Oklahoma don’t really apply to the State of Oklahoma itself,” and asked, “What will it take for this to be taken care of?” 

Governor Stitt’s office pushed back against Swadley’s reported claims on Thursday, telling KFOR,

“The governor does not have any relationship with Brent Swadley, and he has not talked with him about the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation’s state park restaurant contract. Swadley’s statements to the contrary are absolutely not true.” 

Charlie Hannema, Chief of Communications, Office of Governor J. Kevin Stitt

The Department of Tourism also sent KFOR the following statement: 

“The statements made by Mr. DeMarco do not reflect the department’s commitment to public safety. When the department became aware of Foggy Bottom Kitchen’s failure to secure the legally required inspections and permits outlined in the terms of the agreement, department staff immediately began work with the Oklahoma State Fire Marshal to ensure all restaurant locations were brought into compliance.

Every aspect of this agreement is being investigated and any violations of state law will be reported to the appropriate authorities.”

David White, Director of Public Information and Government Affairs

Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department

At the time of this post, Swadley’s has not responded to KFOR’s request for comment. However, they did confirm getting our request.