FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 19, 2014
Contact: Pat McFerron
Hiett Took at least $194,000 from Taxpayers
Hiett claims he will fight against federal government, but his actions show he acted as
a lobbyist with his hand out begging for federal money
OKLAHOMA CITY ̶ Documents released today reveal Todd Hiett was paid at least $194,000 to provide consulting services for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT). Hiett was still under contract and taking money from Oklahoma taxpayers more than a month AFTER Hiett entered the race for Corporation Commissioner. On March 1, 2014, Hiett sent ODOT Director Mike Patterson a written notice that he would terminate his contract on April 1, 2014. Hiett first began consulting with ODOT in July 2011.
A copy of Hiett’s contracts shows he was paid between $70,000 and $90,000 a year. According to the contracts, his duties included to “serve in an advisory capacity to Senior Staff members as related to…funding opportunities in federal legislation”, and to “engage and participate in National Waterways activities to include legislation.” Hiett was also reimbursed for out-of-state travel, presumably to Washington D.C. Copies of these contracts accompany this release.
“This is another egregious example of a professional politician living at the trough of the taxpayer after their time is done,” stated Pat McFerron, a spokesman for the Branan campaign. “But actions speak louder than words. Hiett claims to be a conservative who will fight the federal government but in reality would beg for money from them so he can personally profit. That’s not who Oklahomans need or want at the Corporation Commission,” McFerron continued.
“I have heard Mr. Hiett talk about being a dairy farmer, and we know he’s been a banker and a politician. Nothing in this would make him an expert on water transportation, so he must be getting paid for expertise in lobbying other politicians,” McFerron said. “How does Todd Hiett look someone in the eye and claim to be a conservative when he has taken almost $200,000 from taxpayers as a water navigation consultant?”
In another bit of irony, the termination notice sent by Hiett came from the bank where Hiett serves as a Director and where he benefitted from a taxpayer funded $30 million TARP bailout. (See the “Confidentiality Notice” at the bottom of Hiett’s email). “This document encapsulates why Todd Hiett is not fit to represent Oklahoma conservatives. It shows that Hiett took taxpayer money to obtain more taxpayer money and that Hiett used shareholder resources to conduct personal business not associated with the bank. It’s clear, Todd Hiett will use anyone’s money to promote himself,” concluded McFerron.