After discussions between Oklahoma Attorney General Drummond and Oklahoma County District Attorney Vicki Behenna, the Office of the Attorney General will assume the responsibility of working with the OSBI in the Swadley scandal.
AG Drummond made the announcement on Sunday.
“This case involves allegations of fraud involving millions of dollars in taxpayer money,” Drummond said in a statement. “Starting immediately, my office will join with the OSBI to thoroughly investigate this matter. The Office of the Attorney General is the proper body to determine whether prosecution is appropriate and, if they do, prosecute any offenders. One of the priorities in this office is to end the culture of corruption and bribery. Oklahomans are accountable to the government.”
Vicki Behenna directed the OSBI to report the investigation to the Office of the Attorney General.
The state canceled its contract with Swadley’s in April 2022 following allegations of fraud and unfair bidding practices. That same month, Tourism and Recreation Director Jerry Winchester resigned from the agency and the state filed suit against Swadley for breach of contract. In total, Swadley’s received $16.7 million from the state to renovate and operate restaurants in select state parks.
This is a developing story, stay tuned for updates.