Oklahoma health department director resigns following allegations of domestic abuse

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- The Latest on allegations of domestic violence against one of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin's top aides (all times local):

4:50 p.m.

The board of the Oklahoma Health Department has named a replacement for the agency's interim commissioner, who resigned following allegations of domestic abuse.

The board says Brian Downs will serve as acting commissioner in place of Preston Doerflinger, who resigned Tuesday. Downs is the department's director of state and federal policy.

Board president Martha Burger says in a statement she hopes to have candidates for the next interim to vet within 60 days.

Doerflinger is one of Gov. Mary Fallin's top aides. He quit after local news outlet The Frontier reported Tulsa police responded to a 2012 call from Doerflinger's then-wife saying he had choked her. They have since divorced.

Doerflinger didn't respond to a voice message seeking comment from The Associated Press.

3 p.m.

The interim commissioner of Oklahoma's state health department has resigned following allegations of domestic abuse.

The health department board accepted Preston Doerflinger's resignation Tuesday. The panel had met in executive session after the board attorney said the group received information during the past 24 hours.

Local news outlet The Frontier reported Tulsa police responded to a 2012 call from Doerflinger's then-wife saying he had choked her. They have since divorced.

Tulsa police spokesman Shane Tuell said the case was assigned to the department's family violence unit, but it was closed and not forwarded to prosecutors.

Doerflinger didn't respond to a voice message seeking comment from The Associated Press.

Doerflinger was named interim health department commissioner in October when Terry Cline resigned as commissioner amid allegations of financial mismanagement at the agency.

------

2:45 p.m.

The board of the Oklahoma State Department of Health is discussing the employment status of its interim director, one of Gov. Mary Fallin's top aides, following allegations of domestic violence.

Board members went into executive session Tuesday to talk about the status of Preston Doerflinger, who is also state finance secretary. The board attorney said the group had received information during the past 24 hours.

Local news outlet The Frontier reported Tulsa police responded to a 2012 call from Doerflinger's then-wife saying he had choked her. They have since divorced.

Tulsa police spokesman Shane Tuell said the case was assigned to the department's family violence unit but it was closed and not forwarded to prosecutors.

Doerflinger didn't respond to requests for comment from The Frontier.

------

12:40 p.m.

Police say the now-ex-wife of one of the Oklahoma governor's top aides accused him of choking her years ago, but no charges were filed.

Tulsa police tell The Frontier officers responded to a domestic violence call from Preston Doerflinger's wife in 2012.  Doerflinger is Oklahoma's finance secretary and interim commissioner of the state health department.

Doerflinger didn't respond to requests for comment from The Frontier.

Tulsa police spokesman Shane Tuell read from a police report but didn't supply The Frontier with a copy. Tuell said the case was assigned to the department's family violence unit but it was closed and not forwarded to prosecutors.

In another brush with the law, Doerflinger's driver's license was revoked after he pleaded no contest in 2015 to driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

Download our free app for Apple and Android and Kindle devices.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

 

Print this article Back to Top