OKLAHOMA CITY — Financial disclosures were made public last week for Gov. Kevin Stitt’s Cabinet secretaries, a requirement the governor opposed earlier this year that shows which of his appointees have an interest in banks, energy companies, consulting firms and other businesses.
The state Legislature required the financial disclosures this year, using bipartisan support to override Stitt’s veto.
Each Cabinet secretary had a Dec. 1 deadline to disclose any companies or organizations in which they or a close family member has at least a 5% ownership or draws more than $20,000 in income.
Twelve appointees reported such financial interests, according to documents provided by the state Ethics Commission.
Stitt, who was a businessman before being elected in 2018, said he intentionally selected many of his appointees based on their own business successes.
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For several secretaries, those business ties are reflected on the disclosure forms.
The disclosures give the public information about companies they benefit from, especially those in the sectors they oversee.
Ken McQueen, who this year became Stitt’s secretary of energy and environment, listed a consulting company and Libertad Power, a New Mexico-based hydrogen developer. Stitt and his energy secretary have been aggressive in pursuing hydrogen development opportunities.
Elizabeth Pollard, secretary of science and innovation, has an interest in multiple health care related companies, including xCures, a cancer-fighting tech firm.
The disclosure forms do not list how much each appointee makes from the businesses or their specific roles.
Appointees also list the financial interests of their spouses. Rachel Holt, executive director of the Office of Juvenile Affairs, listed the interests of her husband, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt.
The Ethics Commission collects the disclosure forms but does not determine whether they are accurate.
“We don’t have the resources or ability to check what is filed or audit that,” said Ashley Kemp, executive director of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. “We don’t have a mechanism to verify.”
Stitt said when vetoing the bill to require the disclosures that the bill should have included legislative appointees to boards, commissions and agency leadership positions as well as gubernatorial appointees.
The veto override took place during a contentious final week of the legislative session between lawmakers and the governor, which included several other vetos.
“It’s a shame that that’s the road and the path that he wanted to take, but so be it,” Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, said in May.
Governor appointees claiming financial interests:
Rachel Holt, executive director of the Office of Juvenile Affairs: McNellie’s Group (spouse), Hall Capital (spouse), and the city of Oklahoma City (spouse).
Blayne Arthur, agriculture secretary: Lucky Strike Cattle.
John Laws, secretary of budget: Enable Midstream.
Jonathan Nash, secretary of veteran and military affairs: Sporting Global LLC.
Jay Doyle, director of Service Oklahoma: RDNJ LLC.; Elyod Properties LLC.
Jennifer Grigsby, secretary of economic administration: Amethyst Investments LLC; CrossFirst Bankshares Inc.
Kevin Corbett, secretary of health and CEO of Oklahoma Health Care Authority: Midfirst Bank; Essenta Advisory Partners; 6903 Country Club LLC; FKKD LLC; 9704 Ridgeview LLC; SDCS Investments LLC; Royalty Lending 2019 LTD.
Elizabeth Pollard, secretary of science and innovation: Applied Silver Inc.; xCures Inc.; zPredicta Inc.; BigEyes LLC.; Integrity Books and Finance.
Brian Bingman, secretary of state: 7220 Catamount LLC; Berryhill Cabin LLC.
Ken McQueen, secretary of energy and environment: Libertad Power; Kenergy Consulting LLC; U.S. Federal Courts, Northern District (spouse).
Tricia Everest, secretary of public safety: Dorchester Capital LLC; Dorchester Energy Management LLC; PMFB LLC; DRII LLC; Trillium LLC; E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation.
Ryan Walters, secretary of education: Every Kid Counts.