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Tar Creek Audit Still A Secret as AG Blocks Release to Public

A controversial decision when EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was Oklahoma Attorney General two years ago remains a puzzle to some of his critics. And current Attorney General Mike Hunter is adding to the mystery in refusing to release a state audit of spending activities by a former board in charge of the buyout of homes at the Tar Creek Superfund site, according to a report by E and E.

The environmental and energy news group says Hunter has done the same thing Pruitt did as Attorney General in refusing to release the audit performed by State State Auditor Gary Jones who is running for governor. E and E had filed Open Records requests for the documents. The audit is just one of many actions taken by Pruitt that some news agencies continue pursuing as they investigate his actions before he became head of the EPA.

The audit explored the financial activities of Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistant Trust or LICRAT, a board created to carry out the demolition and purchase of vacant homes in Cardin, Picher and Hockerville. Pruitt’s office acted as general counsel to the controlling board.

The audit focused on whistle-blower claims of improper spending by the board. Jones was asked in 2011 to do an audit but the audit findings were kept secret and turned over to Pruitt’s office in 2014. A year later, Pruitt’s office determined there was no evidence to support criminal findings.

As E and E reported, the new attorney general, Hunter, now says the findings cannot be released because they were part of a grand jury investigation.