OK Health Department launches Schrute-inspired investigation over missing $80…

Last week, I got a weird email from an Ogle Mole about a situation taking place at the El Reno branch of the Canadian County Health Department. It went a little something like this….

According to a Mole, $80 or so turned up missing from the El Reno branch of the Canadian County Health Department in mid-July. The Mole didn’t clarify if it was $80 out of petty cash, a swear jar, or a mysterious, federally-funded onion burger slush fund. Either way, $80 is missing and the higher-ups are pissed. They don’t want another health department money scandal, even if it’s over $80.

As a result, Mr. Don Smalling arrived on the scene to investigate. In January, Smalling – a state employee with a law enforcement background – was promoted from being the Health Department’s security chief to “Interim Director of the Office of Accountability Systems.” According to The Oklahoman, he “oversees audits and investigations into illegal activity or mismanagement” for the embattled agency.

The new gig is apparently a job that Smalling takes very seriously. To get to the bottom of the $80 whodunnit, he launched a full investigation that would make any authoritarian, strong-armed member of the secret police proud, and promptly sent the following interrogation form to all of the employees at the El Reno branch of the Canadian County Health Department. The questionnaire is a mesh between something you’d read in 1984 and watch on The Office.

Check it out, and when you do, please keep in mind the entire fuss is over $80 that disappeared from petty cash.

Wow. Those are some intense rules. You only have one chance to write down answers, you can only use a pen, and you can’t make any corrections??? Are we trying to find out who stole $80 or who killed JFK? Also, were health department employees allowed to have lawyers present when they answered the questions? We don’t want anyone giving a false confession or sending threatening emails to themselves.

Now that the rules of the investigation are clear, here are the questions:

Wow. I think even Dwight Schrute would be impressed with the comical absurdity of those questions. I bet Don Smalling has already converted an old supply closet at the Canadian County Health Department into a makeshift investigation command center.

Here are the last couple of pages. Shit gets real on these:

Although you do have to admire the dogged determination of one state employee to find out what happened to $80, you do have to wonder if this takes things a little too far. I get it. Stealing is bad and we’re a nation of laws, but maybe we should chill out a tiny bit on this thing. The ferocity of the investigation should match the ferocity of the crime. This is $80… not $30-million.

I tried to get in contact with the people at the Canadian County Health Department and Don Smalling to ask a few questions about the investigation, like whether it’s legit, legal or produced any leads. But I got the old run-around. Instead, I was forwarded to Health Department spokesperson Tony Sellars. He confirmed an investigation took place, but wouldn’t share any other details. He then proceeded to complain for 10 minutes about Mike Stoops and the OU secondary.

In the meantime, I guess we’ll wait and see if anything develops on this story. If you have any leads, please contact Crime Stoppers or Don Smalling with the Oklahoma Health Department. I guess you can also complete the questionnaire and email it to us. I took a stab at a few questions myself…