STATE Auditor and Inspector Clifton Scott won't run again

Monday, August 13th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma Auditor and Inspector Clifton Scott, known for his down-home wit and strict scrutiny of state agencies, said he will not run again.

Scott's term will be up in November 2002.

``I believe very strongly that you only have a few years to roam this old planet, and at age 65 your time gets a little short on you.'' he said. ``You really need to spend time with those who have supported you and let you spend time in public service.

``I can tell you, without any doubt, the hardest decision in my life was to run for office. This has been an even harder decision to not run again -- with the exception of getting married.''

The auditor said his wife, Gloria, retired two years ago, and he now has four grandchildren. He also has an expansive garden on his Tecumseh acreage.

Scott, who has a reputation for coming down hard on state agencies and institutions, often speaks at Democratic functions and other gatherings throughout the state.

In 1993, he was sued by then-state treasurer Claudette Henry, who wanted a court to force him to give her a copy of an audit criticizing her agency. Scott said at the time that the state treasurer's failure to act on problems in her office leads one to think ``that individual either is dumber than a sack full of rocks or you have to question their integrity.''

Several people already are being discussed as possibilities to run for state auditor and inspector.

Scott said two of his employees have talked to him about running for the office. They are Rod Dillard, manager of county audits, and Jeff McMahon, manager of special audits.

Others mentioned are Republicans Bob Petre of the Tulsa- based Williams Cos. and Washington County Treasurer Stan Stevens.

Some Republicans also have brought up the name of state Rep. Dan Webb of south Oklahoma City.