AG to Investigate OJA Contracting

The Oklahoma Public Employees Association is pleased with the decision by the state attorney general’s office to review the awarding of a multimillion-dollar contract to the City of Ada.

OPEA sent a second letter to the AG’s office asking them to reconsider an earlier decision that the bidding process that awarded the contract was not flawed. OPEA’s letter pointed to the process before the bids had been received by the Department of Central Services.

“The Rite of Passage bid for a non-secure academy is not responsive to the request-for-proposal (RFP) issued by the Office of Juvenile Affair,” said OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley. “If our contention is correct, then Ada’s proposal should have been thrown out at the very least. Yet OJA director, Gene Christian is poised to award a multimillion dollar contract? It doesn’t seem legitimate.”

According to the AG’s office, the decision to take another look was based on information provided to them by Senate Pro Tem-elect Brian Bingman. The AG is reported to have met and reviewed the evidence but has not commented on the nature of the new information.

Christian, under pressure from OPEA, failed bidders and legislative officials, agreed to delay the contract signing with the company for 30 days to allow the investigations to continue.

“We are pleased with the AG’s reversal,” said Zearley. “Now maybe we can get to the bottom of all this controversy and hopefully protect the process and OJA’s integrity.”

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