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Former state health official gets new start at rescue mission

Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A former state Health Department official who was convicted of public corruption is now working in the kitchen of a homeless shelter.

Brent VanMeter is the kitchen manager at the City Rescue Mission in Oklahoma City. He got the job in January while living in a halfway house after being released from prison.

VanMeter was in charge of the state's nursing homes until he was arrested in May 2000 and later convicted of asking for a bribe from a nursing home operator. He later pleaded guilty to taking bribes from another nursing home operator and to crimes involving so-called "ghost" employees who were paid for doing little or no work.

Now VanMeter says he's blessed to be managing the Rescue Mission kitchen and is trying to deal with his past and move forward with his life.

Tuesday, he supervised the cooking of a traditional Thanksgiving meal for about 800 people at the mission.
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