Doerflinger Resigns from All Oklahoma State Government Posts After Abuse Accusations

Feb 13, 2018

Preston Doerflinger
Credit Preston Doerflinger

Preston Doerflinger — the interim director of Oklahoma's health department, state finance secretary, and director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services — stepped down from all his posts Tuesday following accusations of domestic violence.

Doerflinger led the health department for about four months. Gov. Mary Fallin appointed him in October after commissioner Terry Cline resigned amid allegations of financial mismanagement at the agency.

Health department board members accepted Doerflinger's resignation Tuesday after meeting in executive session to discuss his employment. The panel's attorney said the group had received information during the past 24 hours.

A spokeswoman with OMES confirmed later Tuesday afternoon Doerflinger had resigned as that agency's director and state finance secretary, too.

Local news outlet The Frontier had reported the day before that Tulsa police responded to a call from Doerflinger's then-wife in 2012 saying he had choked her. They have since divorced.

Doerflinger didn't respond to a voice message seeking comment from the Associated Press.

A request for comment from the governor's office also was not immediately returned.

Tulsa police spokesman Shane Tuell read from a police report but didn't supply The Frontier with a copy. Tuell said the case was assigned to the department's family violence unit but it was closed and not forwarded to prosecutors.

In another brush with the law, Doerflinger's driver's license was revoked after he pleaded no contest in 2015 to driving while under the influence of alcohol.

An audit of the health department's finances is underway, the attorney general's multicounty grand jury is investigating and the Legislature appropriated $30 million during a special session to ensure the agency could make payroll and pay vendors.

Doerflinger has said agency officials for years improperly juggled money between the department's accounts and expanded the agency's mission and operations beyond its funding levels.