Kim Holland, appointed by Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry as state insurance commissioner a year ago, formally announced Feb. 23 that she will run for a full four-year term.
Her announcement came two days after her predecessor, Carroll Fisher, was sentenced to three years in prison on perjury and embezzlement charges. Fisher faces five other felony counts. He was impeached over corruption charges in 2004, but resigned before a Senate trial.
Holland, 50, said she had installed a tough set of internal ethics rules, but much still needs to be done to improve the Oklahoma Department of Insurance.
Since her appointment a little over 12 months ago, 20 agency employees have been fired, resigned or took early retirement and there have been many changes in midlevel management positions.
“Making these kind of changes is difficult,” she said. “No one likes to fire someone or disrupt the lives of another human being. But I’ve got to do what’s right, and it’s true, I believe in accountability and responsibility.”
Holland, a Democrat, said she has put together a panel of experts on skyrocketing health insurance costs with a goal of making recommendations on correcting problems that leave hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans without insurance.
She said she will continue to have a unit devoted to helping insurance consumers with their problems, while beefing up the agency’s anti-fraud division.
She lists more than $2.3 million her agency has recovered on behalf of policyholders.
She said she has traveled the state to inform citizens of her agency’s services.
“I want our citizens to know that there are good, hardworking people at the agency who care about the work they do and want to help make Oklahoma a better place to live and work,” she said.
Rep. Bill Case, R-Midwest City, also has announced he will run for the post.
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