Former state legislator fired from state Health Department

Thursday, September 28th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A former Democratic state legislator was fired from the state Health Department after failing to decide whether to take a lower-paying position in the agency, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Kevin R. Hutchcroft of Oklahoma City is the second former legislator fired from the Health Department by acting Director Jerry Regier.

Hutchcroft, 36, made $43,764 a year as a preventive medical consultant, but his position was eliminated in the ongoing reorganization of the agency.

Hutchcroft was offered a lower salary within the Health Department's Oklahoma City office as a contracts monitor in a division that tracks sexually transmitted diseases and HIV in Oklahoma, but Regier said he didn't make a decision on whether to take the job.

In a termination notice this week, Regier wrote to Hutchcroft: "You have failed, refused or neglected to either accept or to explicitly decline taking the contract monitor position."

Regier said Hutchcroft's "continued equivocation" was taken as a refusal of the job.

Hutchcroft will be paid for accrued annual leave.

He was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1986, serving six years as a Democrat from Oklahoma City House District 89.

After deciding not to seek a fourth term in 1992, he was hired by the Health Department in 1993.

In June, Regier fired former state Rep. Gary York, D-Blanchard, accusing him of being a "ghost" employee who got paid but did little or no work. York disputed the allegation.

With Hutchcroft's firing, 32 health workers have been fired or asked to resign since the May 2 bribery arrest of former deputy Health Department director Brent VanMeter.