M. Scott Carter reports on politics, legislation and other issues from the State Capitol.
Gov. Mary Fallin has asked the nine-member War Veterans Commission to change the executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs.
In a Jan. 26 letter, Fallin asked the WVC to “immediately unify the position of executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.”
Fallin’s spokesman Alex Weintz confirmed the letter Monday afternoon. Weintz said the change would make Major Gen. Miles Deering the new director of the ODVA, replacing the agency’s current director John McReynolds.
Fallin also asked the agency to expand its mission and serve more veterans. “Oklahoma has more than 330,000 veterans but ODVA is meeting the needs of only a few thousand,” the governor wrote.
Fallin has sought changes in the ODVA’s leadership and management structure since reports were published in 2012 that detailed cases of abuse, neglect and rape at several of the state’s veterans centers. For several years the governor has asked the legislature to consolidate oversight of the agency and to give the governor the authority to name the ODVA’s executive director.