Regier announces candidacy for governor

Wednesday, January 16th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Former state Health and Human Services Secretary Jerry Regier announced his candidacy for governor Wednesday, touting his ``ghost-busting'' record of weeding out fraud at the Health Department.

``I will place my record of fraud fighting, ghost busting and reform accomplishments against empty campaign rhetoric,'' Regier said at a Tulsa press conference.

Regier is a Republican. He resigned Tuesday from the Health and Human Services Department.

He was appointed by Gov. Frank Keating to serve as health commissioner after a scandal rocked the Oklahoma Department of Health.

The scandal led to indictments of so-called ``ghost'' employees _ people on the payroll who do no work _ and a federal bribery conviction of Brent VanMeter, deputy health commissioner.

Regier said he believes ghost employees exist at other state agencies.

He said reforming state government would be his No. 1 priority as governor. Regier said he also wants to cut spending.