OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Veterans Commission took no actions against Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs executive director, Joel Kintsel, Thursday during their commission meeting. His future as the director was in question after his job abilities were added to the agenda of Thursday’s meeting.
Kintsel said he has become the target of political retaliation after running for office against Governor Kevin Stitt during the GOP primary back in June.
“This is political,” said Kintsel who will keep his job, at least for now, after nine commissioners decided to take no action against him. The meeting lasted more than five hours, with two hours of executive action discussion Kintsel’s future. It turned fiery at times.
The meeting started by introducing five new commissioners, appointed by Governor Stitt. Kintsel and newly named commissioner, Scott Sweeney, had an heated discussion during the meeting. It focused on the executive director’s ability to make decisions for the department, despite interference from Governor Stitt’s cabinet secretary of veteran affairs and military, John Nash, and his role to approve financial projects.
“What’s happening at this point is political retaliation,” said Kintsel. “He’s been sent over here by the governor to create a firestorm, which in turn will be blamed on me as the director. But the fact of the matter is, there’s retaliation here. And this is one way it is being expressed.
After two hours of a closed executive session, the commissioners came back with a decision to not take action against Kintsel meaning he can keep his position.