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State Mental Health Official Resigns

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A deputy commissioner with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, who is the target of an investigation, announced his retirement Thursday.

Ben Brown, 65, a former state senator, has been on paid administrative leave since Sept. 1. His retirement is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

Brown came under investigation last August after the executive director of a nonprofit drug and alcohol recovery association accused him of pressuring her to hire state Senate Sergeant At Arms Bob Craig as a paid ghost employee.

Craig has denied being a ghost employee.

The Mental Health Department board of directors voted in September to hire an independent investigator to probe misconduct allegations against Brown.
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