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Former FEMA Chief Named As Interim Director Of Oklahoma Dept. Of Corrections

Joe Allbaugh
Greg Schaler

A former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be the new interim director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

The Board of Corrections named Joe Allbaugh to the post at its meeting on Thursday in McAlester.

Allbaugh served as FEMA director under President George W. Bush between February 2001 and March 2003. Allbaugh has close ties to the former President, and served as Bush’s presidential campaign manager in 2000 and worked as Bush’s chief-of-staff while Bush was the Governor of Texas. Allbaugh also headed Bush’s gubernatorial campaign in 1994.

Allbaugh currently owns his own consulting firm and was Texas Governor Rick Perry's campaign manager during the 2012 presidential election.

Board of Corrections chair Kevin Gross says Allbaugh expressed interest in the interim position last year and said the board did not have any other candidates in mind. Allbaugh currently lives in Texas, but Gross says Allbaugh plans to establish a temporary residence in Oklahoma City. He'll take over as interim director next week with a salary of $165,000.

Allbaugh takes over for Robert Patton, who resigned from the DOC director position in December. During Patton’s tenure at DOC, the state performed the botched execution of Clayton Lockett and used the wrong drug in the execution of Charles Warner. The execution of Richard Glossip was stopped at the last minute in September when it was discovered the state did not have the correct drug for its execution protocol. A grand jury is investigating the matter.

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Jacob McCleland spent nine years as a reporter and host at public radio station KRCU in Cape Girardeau, Mo. His stories have appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Here & Now, Harvest Public Media and PRI’s The World. Jacob has reported on floods, disappearing languages, crop duster pilots, anvil shooters, Manuel Noriega, mule jumps and more.
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