A spokesperson for the Oklahoma Department of Health says Interim Director Preston Doerflinger resigned effective immediately.
The DHS board met Tuesday.
Doerflinger submitted his resignation to the board.
In the resignation letter Doerflinger said, "Effective immediately, I resign as Interim Commissioner of the Oklahoma State Board of Health."
Board president Martha Burger said an immediate search for a commissioner would begin:
“Hopefully we will have candidates ready to vet in 30 to 60 days and have an interim commissioner in place shortly after that time.”
Brian Downs was named as the acting replacement.
Downs said the department has a strong leadership team in place that is committed to the agency reorganization currently underway.
“We have a dedicated leadership team that is committed to get OSDH back on sound financial footing,” said Downs. “Our entire organization remains focused on protecting the health of all Oklahomans and restoring confidence in this agency.”
Governor Mary Fallin released a statement on Doerflinger's resignation Monday:
“The board of the Oklahoma State Department of Health has accepted the resignation of Preston Doerflinger as interim commissioner. He has also resigned as secretary of finance, administration and information technology.
“Preston has played a critical role in state government, serving as director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, and Cabinet secretary of finance, administration and information technology. During the past seven years, his efforts saved tax dollars by implementing cost-saving reforms and consolidating state agencies. He also helped guide the Department of Human Services during a critical time when key reforms, such as the Pinnacle Plan, were implemented. I appreciate his service to the state.
“I was unaware of the personal situation involving Preston and his ex-wife almost six years ago. Mrs. Doerflinger did not contact my office about this matter. I take domestic violence very seriously, but I will take Mrs. Doerflinger at her word that this matter was not a case of domestic violence. I respect Preston’s decision to move on from his government service, and wish him and his family the best.”
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