Tulsa responds to indictments of former public works employees
In a letter to residents, Tulsa, Okla., Mayor Kathy Taylor says the city is taking several steps in response to the federal indictment of two former public works employees on bribery charges. The city is undertaking a compliance and standards review, and educating all employees on how to recognize and report unethical behavior “without fear of reprisal.”
Tulsa’s former Public Works Design Engineering Manager Larry Wayne Baker and former Public Works Field Engineering Manager Albert Martinez were charged last week, along with four businessmen accused of sending inflated invoices to the city that Martinez would approve for 50 percent of the inflated amount, according to the Tulsa World. Martinez allegedly received $187,000 by approving the fraudulent invoices, according to the newspaper.
The city halted 49 projects and froze payments on all contracts until Monday afternoon, Taylor says in her letter on the city’s Web site home page, www.cityoftulsa.org. “We will also be working with forensic accountants and auditors to determine what best practices can be put in place throughout the contracting process,” Taylor wrote.