Claremore Daily Progress

Top Stories

October 3, 2012

Panel hears allegations at VA center

OKLAHOMA CITY — A military veteran told Oklahoma lawmakers Tuesday that he was abused by a nurse during a medical procedure at the state’s Norman Veterans Center and that staff members tried to intimidate him.

Mike Simmons spoke to members of the House Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, which is looking into allegations of abuse at veterans centers statewide. The inquiry was requested by two Democratic lawmakers following reports in The Journal Record about alleged abuse at the centers.
Simmons, among those interviewed for the newspaper’s stories, said he submitted formal grievances at Norman but that they went unreported to the state Department of Human Services.
No one from the Norman center was at the meeting, and a call to center officials for comment late Tuesday afternoon went unreturned. But officials with some of the state’s six other centers said they have policies requiring that abuse allegations be reported to DHS.
Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Wesselhoft said he didn’t dispute Simmons’ allegation, but noted there was obvious tension between center officials and Simmons, who has been vocal about his complaints but still lives at the center. He was the only veteran who spoke during the meeting.
“I just don’t know how much we can learn from this one situation where there’s been such a turbulent relationship with this one resident,” said Wesselhoft, R-Moore.
Jerry Riley, a member of the Oklahoma War Veterans Commission that oversees the Department of Veterans Affairs, said before the meeting that the goal is to improve services and the treatment of all veterans.
“It’s not as bad as people think, we’re getting a lot of bad press,” said Riley, a Vietnam veteran who spent time in the Norman center’s rehabilitation program.
Simmons echoed some officials’ suggestions when he said the veterans centers’ annual inspections should be returned to direct DHS oversight, “with all surveys and official complaint investigations done by the DHS.” Currently, the responsibilities fall to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • bridge work continues Portion of 4180 Road remains closed for completion of bridge work
    A portion of 4180 Road will remain closed through at least Thursday as workers complete a bridge widening project on the south end of Claremore Lake.
     

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rogers County Audit:
    A recent report issued by Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones documented Rogers County Clerk Robin Anderson solicited donations from several Rogers County vendors.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • Students paint mural Catoosa High School artists paint mural to instill respect, inspiration

    Catoosa High School students, Devin Jackson and Spencer Plumlee, recently put the finishing touches on a mural that took more than a year to complete. 

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local attorneys fight to eliminate judgment

    Claremore attorneys — Thomas H. Williams and Jack E. Gordon Jr. —   filed a petition Tuesday to vacate the $27.9 million judgment awarded to Material Service Corp. 

    April 18, 2014

  • Rogers County Water Dist. 16 receives grant

    Rogers County Rural Water District No. 16 received a $24,999 grant Tuesday to help finance expansion of the district’s water supply infrastructure.  

    April 18, 2014

  • Grand Jury recesses until June 24

    The multicounty grand jury charged with investigating accusations of misconduct by Rogers County officials recessed Thursday until June 24-26, saying it needed to hear from more witnesses before returning a finding in the matter.

    April 17, 2014

  • Harps Food opens new store in Inola

    On April 23, Harps Food Stores will reach a new milestone in their company’s history with the opening of its 75th store. 

    April 17, 2014

  • helping children Tri-County CASA seeks additional volunteers as child abuse cases increase

    From 2010-2013, Oklahoma has seen an increase in children entering foster care. According to Oklahoma Department of Human Services reports, approximately 11,000 children are in state’s custody because of child abuse or neglect — 4,000 in the Tulsa area alone and more than 100 in Rogers County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judge refuses to dismiss Grubowski in DA suit

    A judge has denied businessman Myron Grubowski's motion to remove him from the defamation lawsuit filed by District Attorney Janice Steidley against sponsors of last fall's unsuccessful citizens petition for a local grand jury investigation of her  office.

    April 17, 2014

  • Controversial schools chief attracts crowd of opponents

    The field of candidates running for state school superintendent is unusually large — a sign of broad interest in what observers say is sure to be a referendum on the incumbent, Dr. Janet Barresi.

    April 17, 2014