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DHS responds to allegations against employee

November 14, 2011

The Department of Human
Services has confirmed that a
LeFlore County woman has
been placed on leave following
an investigation into her conduct
and allegations that she
misused state equipment.
On Nov. 2, PDN reported that
Barbette Hull of Poteau was
under investigation for allegedly
misusing state property by using
property belonging to DHS for
personal business.
“I can confirm that our Office
of Inspector General has conducted
an investigation into
these allegations against Mrs.
Hull,” said Sheree Powell, DHS
Office of Communications.
“(They) have turned over their
report and recommendations to
the LeFlore County District
Attorney’s office.”
Powell went on to say that
Hull, who is an Information
Systems Planning Specialist
with an annual salary of
$48,363.12, is currently on paid
suspension.
PDN originally reported that
a watchdog website had posted
an article on October 26, which
stated that Hull while supposed
to be working from home was
also working for Coach’s
Lumber Yard near Spiro at the
same time and she was using her
state car and computer to conduct
personal business and business
for the lumber yard.
“OKDHS does not tolerate its
employees committing the types
of offenses that have been
alleged and takes all appropriate
actions,” Powell said in an email
on Wednesday.
The LeFlore County District
Attorney’s office has received
the report from the Inspector
General and is in the process of
reviewing the findings to determine
if criminal charges will be
filed. Powell stated that the
report also contained recommendations
from the Inspector General. Powell could not comment on what those recommendations
were.
According to Powell, Hull has worked for DHS since
August 1982. She said that the decision by the D.A.’s
office to file charges would not affect the agency’s
decision regarding Hull’s employment.
“Those are two separate issues,” Powell said.
According to Powell the OIG findings will be
reviewed by DHS to determine if Hull violated DHS
policies or conducted herself in an inappropriate manner.
Once the determination has been made Hull will be
issued a letter by the agency. If it was determined that
she should be terminated Hull will then have the opportunity
to have a hearing on the matter. A final decision
will then be rendered and Hull will receive a final letter
to notify her of the decision. If Hull is terminated the
final letter will contain detailed information regarding
the allegations made against her, the findings and evidence
discovered by the OIG investigation and the
specific reason for her termination.
Powell could not comment on which phase of the
process Hull is currently in, stating that it is a personnel
matter that is still ongoing. She did state that if Hull is
terminated the final letter of termination will be public record.

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