EMSA CEO Apologizes To Board For Scrutiny Brought By Auditor's Report

Wednesday, February 27th 2013, 6:14 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The board that controls EMSA is taking action after a state audit uncovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable spending, mostly tied to CEO Steve Williamson.

EMSA is a public utility for both Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

The EMSA board met in Stroud Wednesday to go over changes already made on spending and make some more, responding to the audit of spending.

Williamson started with an apology, for putting EMSA in a bad light and creating questions about the integrity of the operation.

He said there were several spending decisions he wouldn't repeat, but also had explanations for some of over $300,000 in reimbursed expenses; including spa treatments and flowers and almost $30,000 in charitable donations.

"Well, I know I owe an apology to the board for some of the actions that could be construed as being outside the scope of the public trust," Williamson said. "I have some explanations and context, but I am sorry for the amount of scrutiny it's caused the authority and this board."

Among those explanations Williamson offered, was the spa treatments, provided to a few key employees as a bonus, and the flowers he said, included office plants and arrangements for employees in the hospital.

Everything he spends, and anything spent by EMSA, over $2,500 will be reviewed by the board going forward.

There was a long executive session early Wednesday afternoon to discuss these issues in private, but there was no public discussion about whether Williamson will face any disciplinary action for what's happened in the past.

1/23/2013 Related Story: EMSA Board Places Restriction On Spending Following Auditor's Report