“We are so far away from talking about this, again we just have to learn how to live with it,” Stitt said Thursday about implementing new social distancing restrictions amid a rise in coronavirus cases in Oklahoma.
“Defendants are nothing more than front companies utilized by TRG to obtain contracts set aside for legitimate small and other disadvantaged concerns and to illegally obtain payments from the Government,” the whistleblower lawsuit filed against the Ross Group states.
In a review of hires and appointments by Stitt, The Frontier found at least half of his cabinet secretaries continue to manage a private business, while some agency directors have also pursued additional private sector opportunities.
The company’s CEO predicted that revenue from its government services division, which issues unemployment, food stamp and other government benefit cards, will partially offset the losses in other sectors caused by COVID-19.
“I’m very frustrated because I’m beginning to feel that I am being tricked,” said one Owasso woman who has filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funds. “It has been almost 2 months with no payment.”
“Obviously, if somebody turns down employment, then what will happen is, if the company chooses to call OESC (the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission) and let them know, then that individual’s unemployment benefits will stop,” Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development Sean Kouplen said.
Oklahoma could ask the federal government to stop giving unemployed workers here the $600 a month unemployment stimulus, or halt benefits altogether for workers who don’t go back to work when the economy opens up.