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State lawmaker suing OMES over handling of GEER fund records

Phillips, Logan.jpg
A photo of State Representative of Logan Phillips provided by the lawmaker on August 17, 2022.

A state lawmaker is suing the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services for how the organization handled records for the GEER fund.

Representative Logan Phillips said he filed a lawsuit against OMES to clarify how the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund was funded, spent, and managed over the last year.

"We're looking at the possibility of 5 of every 6 dollars having been misspent of that GEER fund putting Oklahoma into a situation where we are going to be owing the federal government back for federal funding that should have gone back to our students during the pandemic."

An audit by the U.S. Department of Education's says the state misspent $31 million out of the nearly $40 million of the fund. The audit calls on Oklahoma to return over $652,000 spent on "unallowable" purchases and to perform a "100% review" of another $5.4 million that could also potentially be refunded.

Phillips said the lack of transparency from state officials is a disservice to Oklahoma tax payers.

"We know it was mismanaged, what we don't know is how big of a check the state of Oklahoma is going to have to write the federal government," Phillips explained.

Governor Stitt's office has filed a lawsuit against ClassWallet claiming that the entity mismanaged the GEER funds.

Before making her way to Public Radio Tulsa, KWGS News Director Cassidy Mudd worked as an assignment editor and digital producer at a local news station. Her work has appeared on ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates across the country.