OKLAHOMA CITY - Sen. Paul Rosino, Senate chair of the Legislative Veterans Caucus, said an independent investigation into social media posts alleging abuse and neglect at the Lawton Veterans Center has been completed by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Advocate General, and showed no substantiated findings.
“I felt it was critical for the veterans center and the Department of Veterans Affairs that the investigation be independently conducted. I requested the investigation be conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Advocate General,” said Rosino, R-Oklahoma City. “The safety and wellbeing of our veterans is my top priority.”
Sen. Rosino also stated that while long-term care facilities as a whole have been stressed with workforce issues prior to COVID-19, those issues have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“Families are missing quality interactions that are vital to the mental and physical health of seniors in these facilities,” Rosino continued. “I am grateful to the Advocate General and his team for digging into these allegations thoroughly and in a timely manner to give us a clear picture regarding the operations of the Lawton center.”
“This was a large-scale investigation into numerous allegations,” said Joe Dewey, Advocate General at OKDHS. “I am proud of the quality of work our team undertook in a few short weeks and that we were able to provide a final report for the families and residents of the Lawton Veterans Center.”
“Sen. Rosino is a strong advocate for veterans who cares about their health and welfare, especially those in Oklahoma’s veterans’ centers,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat. “I appreciate his innovative leadership in getting state agencies to work together to facilitate an independent review of these serious complaints.”
“Because our highest priority at ODVA is caring for Oklahoma veterans, when allegations surfaced on social media or local media, we determined that a comprehensive, external investigation should be conducted,” said Joel Kintsel, Executive Director, Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs. “We are so grateful that the Department of Human Services answered the call and conducted this very thorough and important, external investigation.”
For more information, contact: Sen. Paul Rosino at 405-521-5618 or email Paul.Rosino@oksenate.gov.