Senate Review of Contract

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Okla Senate investigating juvenile center contract

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma Senate will investigate the awarding of a contract to operate a new juvenile justice center following reports of a relationship between a state senator and a lobbyist whose clients include the company that won the contract.

Senate President Pro Tem-elect Brian Bingman issued a statement Wednesday saying the Senate "will thoroughly investigate" allegations that Sen. Harry Coates helped steer the $10 million a year contract to the Ada Youth Academy Authority. The contract is to be signed Monday.

The Oklahoman first reported the relationship between Coates and lobbyist Haley Atwood whose represents the youth academy. The two did not deny a relationship.

The Oklahoman and the Tulsa World report that the Attorney General's office is also reviewing a request by the Oklahoma Public Employees Association to investigate the contract.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.