M. Scott Carter reports on politics, legislation and other issues from the State Capitol.
Gov. Mary Fallin on Wednesday replaced the executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs with a member of her cabinet.
Major Gen. Miles Deering — the governor’s Secretary for Veterans Affairs — will become executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, Fallin’s spokesman Alex Weintz said. Deering will serve as both VA Secretary and as the executive director of the veterans agency.
Deering will replace the ODVA’s current director, John McReynolds.
On Jan. 26 Fallin sent a letter to the War Veterans Commission, the nine-member board charged with oversight of the ODVA, asking the commission to “immediately unify the position of executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.”
The change will allow Fallin to exercise more control over the ODVA. For several years the agency has struggled to right itself after stories were published that detailed cases of rape, abuse, neglect and premature death at several of the ODVA’s long-term care facilities.