OKLAHOMA CITY —
Other issues arose. Frazier, deputy general counsel, wrote in an email that Mullins felt the Council of State Governments was trying to control the process too much.
Also, when the JRI group prepared to meet for the first time in September 2012, Prater and Steele agreed the meetings would be subject to the Open Meeting Act. That did not go over well with Mullins, Steele said. Mullins asked the group to hold private “pre-meetings" with the governor’s office to outline what would be discussed at the open meetings.
Mullins denied he was opposed to opening the JRI group’s meetings.
“We weren’t objecting to that. We said that’s fine, we don’t care,” Mullins said. “All we said was before we go to these meetings, let’s make sure we know what we’re talking about, like an agenda.”
The JRI group agreed to the pre-meetings.
Even so, Fallin’s office told two key agency heads – Department of Corrections Director Justin Jones and Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Director Terri White - not to attend any of the meetings, Steele and Mullins said.
Mullins explained to Oklahoma Watch: “We’re not going to make our directors of programs take time out of their day to sit in a meeting when we don’t know what it’s about.”
Instead, Frazier was sent on their behalf and was to report back to them.
“We said (to White and Jones), ‘Don’t go over to the meeting. We don’t know what it’s about,’” Mullins said. “We will send Rebecca who is fully knowledgeable on all implementation efforts.”
However, Steele said this became an issue among group members when Frazier could not answer questions about the progress of JRI reforms within the different agencies.