Oklahoma State Department of Health. News9

The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s general counsel is no longer with the agency, a department spokesman confirmed Tuesday evening.

The Frontier learned state health department General Counsel Donald Maisch left the agency Monday afternoon. It is unclear whether he was terminated or resigned.

Health department spokesman Tony Sellars confirmed Maisch was no longer employed but declined to say why, citing personnel issues.

Maisch’s exit from the agency comes a day after the resignations of three employees. The Oklahoma State Board of Health on Monday accepted the resignations of Health Commissioner Terry Cline and Senior Deputy Commissioner Julie Cox-Kain.

Business planning director Felesha Scanlan also resigned on Monday.

The employees’ resignations came in the wake of findings of years of financial mismanagement and over-expenditures, according to a statement issued by the health board.

The agency implemented furloughs for employees this week and recently announced program cuts and layoffs.

“The Board takes these matters very seriously and is prepared to take all steps necessary to ensure that OSDH continues its important work in the area of public health,” Board President Martha Burger said in the statement.

In an emergency meeting Monday night, the health board accepted the resignation of Cline and Cox-Kain, effective immediately.

Terry Cline. KASSIE McCLUNG/The Frontier

Preston Doerflinger, Oklahoma’s finance secretary, replaced Cline on an interim basis.

Scanlan was with the agency for 36 years before she resigned. Cline resigned via a phone call to the health board on Saturday and submitted his resignation letter on Monday.

Also on Monday, the health department signed an engagement letter for a special audit by the Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector to address financial issues within the agency.

In a statement, Gov. Mary Fallin praised the change of leadership at the agency.

“I applaud the Board of Health in taking swift action and making necessary changes to stabilize the financial situation,” Fallin said. “The board’s appointment of Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston Doerflinger is a step toward putting the agency back on firm financial ground.

“I know Secretary Doerflinger will lead the state Health Department with stable and capable leadership, as he did the Department of Human Services in 2012 when he served as interim director. ”

Cox-Kain’s and Scanlan’s resignation letters 

As furloughs and service cuts loom, Health Department requests audit