Bill would put restrictions on hiring by officials leaving office
By BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau

OKLAHOMA CITY — Proposed legislation would slap restrictions on the hiring practices of politicians who are leaving office.

Following a failed bid for re-election this year, State Superintendent Janet Barresi created a new position, assistant superintendent of accreditation, in her agency and hired the husband of her general counsel, sparking accusations of cronyism.

Barresi lost the June 24 primary to Joy Hofmeister, who ultimately won the election against Democrat John Cox.

In mid-September, Barresi hired Larry Birney to fill the newly created post. He is the husband of her general counsel, Kim Richey.

Then-state Rep. Jason Smalley, R-Stroud, called it “a good ol’ boy hire” and called for Barresi’s resignation. Smalley now serves in the Oklahoma Senate.

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