Two key players involved in Ada’s attempt to secure a state youth academy have been investigated and cleared of any presumed wrongdoing.
Architects in Partnership, the architectural firm associated with Ada’s effort, and the Office of Juvenile Affairs, the state agency who reviewed the bids for the project, were both cleared of any impropriety in the negotiations.
Ben Graves, of Architects in Partnership, said an inquiry into allegations by the Oklahoma State Board of Registered Architects was recently closed with no action taken.
“The file was closed,” Graves said. “Brent Clark, representing the city of Clinton, had filed a complaint against us for unethical practice as an architect.” Graves said there was no basis for the complaint and that it was filed in an attempt to discredit Ada’s attempt at securing the facility.
He said his group is now considering responding in kind by filing an action against Clark for allegedly making false statements and claims about his firm’s practice.
Gene Christian, executive director of the Office of Juvenile Affairs, said an inquiry in February by OJA’s Office of Public Integrity to determine if Christian followed contracting procedures has also been closed.
“There was an internal inquiry as to whether or not OJA complied with policies,” Christian said. “They accepted the report and closed the inquiry at that time,” he said.
Ada was scheduled to sign an agreement in January securing the youth facility but the signing ceremony was abruptly cancelled when allegations of misconduct came to light regarding an affair between two minor players, State Sen. Harry Coats and a lobbyist for Rite of Passage, the facility designated to manage the academy.
Since then the State Attorney General’s office has cleared the Ada effort of any wrongdoing. In late February Office of Juvenile Affairs board members dropped plans to build the $10 million facility, saying proposed budget cuts would make the project financially impractical.