Tar Creek audit points to wrongdoing in Superfund site contracts

By: Harrison Grimwood, Tulsa World, April 9, 2018

An investigative state audit kept under wraps by the state attorney general’s office for five years until released Monday alleges wrongdoing in the awarding of a contract at the Tar Creek Superfund site.

The earlier audit is often at odds with the findings of a later state audit and a 2013 internal Environmental Protection Agency investigation.

In releasing the audit, Attorney General Mike Hunter echoed his predecessor, current EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, in saying its findings did not warrant prosecution. Hunter’s decision followed legal action by a Washington-based environmental advocacy group.

Watchdog group Campaign for Accountability filed a federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency seeking the release of records involving the audits.

Daniel Stevens, director of the watchdog group, said Monday they were pleased to see the released documents. The watchdog group is “still evaluating the documents posted online” in efforts to verify whether Hunter’s office released all the documents required by law.

“However, it shouldn’t take months of litigation to force the state’s top law enforcement officer to release public documents,” Stevens said.

Stevens said they intend to push for release of Pruitt’s communications with Sen. James Inhofe in reference to the Tar Creek audit.

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