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State officials point fingers in budget mess

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)  The former chief financial officer of the Oklahoma State Department of Health alleges another state agency knew of and tried to hide the Health Department's multimillion dollar budget woes.

Mike Romero's allegations have raised questions about whether the Office of Management and Enterprise Services knew about the department's financial issues. 

Romero resigned last Thursday, saying in his resignation letter that the department's leadership was "compromised," and that the department's recovery was "tainted with multiple conflicts of interest." 

Romero also accused Preston Doerflinger, the interim health commissioner, who previously oversaw OMES, of inappropriately monitoring employees' statements to state and federal investigators. 

The department has dismissed Romero's allegations, saying they're baseless and part of a bizarre change in behavior after officials raised issues with his job performance.

"OSDH leadership is continuing to work as quickly as possible to rectify the financial mismanagement of the agency," the department said in a statement. "We will maintain our course of transparency and fiscal efficiency as we continue our task of righting and right-sizing the agency."

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