Oklahoma auditor discusses restaurant probe at Ardmore conference
ARDMORE, Okla. (KTEN) — Big Five Community Action held its first in-person conference in two years at the Ardmore Convention Center on Tuesday.
The non-profit organization works to help individuals and families dealing with poverty.
The featured speaker on day one of the Big Five meeting was Oklahoma State Auditor Cindy Byrd.
She shared memorable stories with attendees, along with information on some work that she's focusing on as auditor, including the investigation into Swadley's Bar-B-Q.
The restaurant chain was awarded a lucrative deal by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department to operate restaurants at state parks. The contract was later canceled after allegations of fraudulent activity surfaced.
"The alleged conduct has resulted in at least $4.5 million in excessive payments to Swadley's by the State of Oklahoma," she said. "I know that legislation is going to be filed to restore power back to the board. It's very important for a board to be reviewing the financial transactions of any agency."
For her work as state auditor, Byrd fit the theme of being a superhero for the Big Five conference perfectly. The non-profit implemented the theme this year to encourage strong individual and team performances.
"She, of course, has taken a lot of heat because of the investigations," said Kevin Stinson, Chief Operating Officer of Big Five Community Action. "She represents the taxpayers of Oklahoma."
The Big Five conference will continue throughout the week at the Ardmore Convention Center. There, the non-profit's employees will train for updated expectations for all of the provided services.