Shake-up of House staff continues

Saturday, December 4th 2004, 11:19 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The new Republican majority at the state House of Representatives continues to make changes in the House staff with the firing of four more employees.

And some of those being dismissed are upset about how and why they were let go.

Trey Ramsey, former director of information systems, said he was fired on Friday about 4:30 p.m. before his hard drive was seized and he was escorted from the state Capitol.

``I've been there for 14 years, and I've not played politics the entire time I've been there,'' said Ramsey, who said he is a Republican. ``My division is not political and it always has been. They let me go for whatever reason, and I don't know why.''

New House Chief of Staff Doug Enevoldsen refused to discuss the matter.

Also fired Friday were Ed Noltensmeyer, fiscal policy analyst; Stephen Weiss, senior fiscal analyst; and Gary Collins, a senior fiscal policy analyst.

The firings came after Enevoldsen spent two days interviewing members of the fiscal department, recently renamed by Republicans as the House Office of Budget and Performance Review.

``When voters put in new leadership, there's going to be subsequent ramifications,'' Enevoldsen said.

Four other staffers were dismissed earlier this week, including former House media division director Mike Ray, who headed a department that issued news releases for both parties.

``I was under the delusion that being fair and doing a good job was adequate,'' Ray said. ``Obviously, I was wrong.''

Some former staffers said they were called into Enevoldsen's office and given the choice of signing a prepared resignation letter or being fired.

It's an account disputed by Enevoldsen, who said he prepared the resignation letter and offered it as a courtesy only after telling the staffers they would no longer be needed. Enevoldsen said he's been in the same situation and offered it as a favor.

The staff changes, which also include the resignations of the chief clerk and the executive director, follow the Republican takeover of the House last month.

Enevoldsen said the fired staffers were paid accumulated compensatory time and annual leave, and also offered job placement assistance paid for by state taxpayers.

Also fired this week was Mike Fina, spokesman for former House Speaker Larry Adair, D-Stilwell; Greg Sawyer, House fiscal director; and Joe Blough, House administrative programs director.