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Transition for Oklahoma labor commissioners crosses lines of miscommunication



Brenda Reneau and her top staff finally vacated the office of state labor commissioner this week.


It can be hard for someone who has held an elected position for several years to wake up to reality and hand over a job he or she has been told to leave. Back in November, more voters statewide marked their ballots for Reneau's opponent, Lloyd Fields, and sent Reneau packing. It was her first loss after holding onto the job for 12 years.


As with any change in elected office, there comes a time of transition when both sides put the election behind them and work toward a smooth transfer so employees will feel at ease and the public's business will continue to operate.


Last week, newly elected labor commissioner Fields headed over to his new job to check things out before he officially took over Jan. 8 " you know, the transition part of the job. When he arrived, he might as well have been a health inspector making a surprise visit to a school cafeteria.


According to a Tulsa World article, Fields said a meeting he showed up for had been canceled and he was handed a stack of papers from an agency employee who then left. After reporters started showing up, Fields was escorted through the building to meet with department heads.


Deputy Labor Commissioner Pat McGuigan " yes, the former Oklahoman editorial page editor " said the situation might have been the result of miscommunication. That's it " they forgot the results of the election and didn't realize they were meeting the new boss.

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