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Public safety commissioner heads for full confirmation after largely silent committee vote

Public Safety Commissioner Tim Tipton with Sen. Adam Pugh on Monday, April 4, 2022
Public Safety Commissioner Tim Tipton with Sen. Adam Pugh on Monday, April 4, 2022

Gov. Kevin Stitt's nominee for public safety commissioner passed a legislative committee vote Monday without questions from lawmakers.

Public Safety Commissioner Tim Tipton who has yet to be confirmed spoke briefly to the state Senate's public safety committee before its members voted unanimously in his favor.

“This is definitely the biggest honor of my career to even be nominated,” said Tipton.

Though lawmakers were mum, Sen. Adam Pugh (R-Edmond) said as he introduced Tipton there have been private conversations going on since public safety officials have had a presence in the Capitol.

“I know that you have had a lot of opportunity to sit with him, and maybe ask questions and have him answer questions. We are happy to be before this committee again to do that process formally,” said Pugh.

Corey Jones of Tulsa World reports 18 people died in 15 OHP pursuits in the last five years. Five were uninvolved motorists. In introducing himself to legislators, Tipton didn’t mention policy changes for OHP.

“We will continue to uphold the standards and ethics and work ethic we’re known for,” said Tipton.

Tipton was appointed by Stitt at the end of 2021. His confirmation will next be voted on by the full state Senate.

Before joining Public Radio Tulsa, Elizabeth Caldwell was a freelance reporter and a teacher. She holds a master's from Hollins University. Her audio work has appeared at KCRW, CBC's The World This Weekend, and The Missouri Review. She is a south Florida native.