Amnesia or Ignorance, Gov. Mary Fallin Denies Knowing Costs of Corrections Reform

I haven’t posted in some time, but with the legislative session coming soon, I’m back.

Late Friday afternoon, I attended a media availability with Gov. Mary Fallin to talk about corrections. I think she lied to Oklahomans.

After questioning by one reporter and a direct follow up by me, Gov. Fallin said no one knew the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, a major reform of the state’s criminal justice system, would cost money. That is either a lie or an amazing level of ignorance.

Then-House Speaker Kris Steele repeatedly told the Capitol press corps, sitting in his conference office, that the plan would cost money up front, for a return in the future. We asked him where the funds would come from? He would respond that it was possible.

I attended a luncheon, hosted by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb outlining the entire process of the JRI. There was widespread support for the initiative, from the Oklahoma City police department up, it was viewed as a way for Oklahoma to be “smart” on crime.

Gov. Fallin’s response to the questions Friday were interspersed with her assurance that she made the decisions in her administration, not her staff.

I’m not so sure, and my trust in Oklahoma’s chief executive is greatly reduced.

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