Advocate For Elderly Calls For Gov. Fallin's Resignation
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma - An advocate for the elderly is calling for the governor's resignation.
He said Governor Fallin ignored his warnings, while state agencies broke laws and regulations.
Wes Bledsoe of the group "A Perfect Cause" said he was trying to bring cases of elderly abuse and solutions to the governor's attention. But he said her staff blew him off and he has the e-mails to prove it.
This is the type of abuse "A perfect cause" fights against: a 96-year old Oklahoma City woman in nursing care with rubber gloves shoved in her mouth.
Advocate Wes Bledsoe said abuse like this is very common. That's why he wanted to continue meeting with the governor. He met with her staff at least three times, but he said when he was turned down over and over. After that, he requested e-mails from the governor’s staff.
Three years and nine months later he got them. Thousands of them. They show when his request was forwarded to the governor’s chief of staff, Denise Northrup. Her response was "Ugh". And the response to another request: "Not happening...just slow play him for now."
"They want to slow play me when I have 10 people who are dying from human rights violations in Oklahoma nursing homes every day. I have over 80 people who are suffering from human rights violations every single day and you want to slow play me," said Bledsoe.
Bledsoe said he wanted to show the governor proof that 43 separate laws and regulation were being violated. He suggested the firing of seven state officials including Terry Cline, who left as head of the Department of Health after $30 million was misspent.
The internal e-mail response was, "If we can't ignore, I suggest that I take the meeting and structure around legal arguments for removal."
"Why doesn't this governor want a robust defense of the people of Oklahoma? The vulnerable adults. The Veterans. Their spouses. And others who have served this state and this nation. Why is that? She wants to defend these state agencies and these state agencies are a mess," Bledsoe said.
Bledsoe said it's time for the governor to resign. And if not, he says:
"I'm hoping that there's some lawmakers in this state who will start talking about the fact that she is incompetent and that she needs to be impeached if she refuses to resign."