BySharon Lernerfor The Intercept
N AUDIT RELEASED this week found evidence of corruption in how contracts were awarded at the Tar Creek Superfund site in Oklahoma. Gary Jones, the state auditor and inspector who wrote the report, submitted it to then-Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt back in January 2014. But Pruitt inexplicably refused to release it.
Pruitt’s successor, Mike Hunter, had also refused to release the report since he began serving as attorney general after Pruitt left the job in February 2017 to become administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. But on Monday, facing a lawsuit demanding the release of the audit, Hunter changed his mind.
The audit, which looked into wrongdoing by a trust set up by the state to buy homes in two lead-contaminated towns in the Superfund site in the northeast corner of the state, found “considerable circumstantial evidence that a conspiracy may have existed” and irregularities with the bidding process that resulted in a contractor getting a windfall of more than $1 million.