Joe Allbaugh
Joe M. Allbaugh has been named interim director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

A current National Rifle Association board member and former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been named interim director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

The Oklahoma Board of Corrections voted Thursday to name Joe Allbaugh to the position vacated by Robert Patton, who resigned while he and the department were being investigated by Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office over mishandled executions.

The president and CEO of Allbaugh International Group, Allbaugh is a graduate of OSU and a native of Blackwell, where he served as interim city manager in 2014, according to the McCarville Report.

Allbaugh also acted as the manager for George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign, and in 2001 he became director of FEMA.

The DOC sent out a media release Thursday afternoon following Allbaugh’s appointment and noted he will earn a salary of $165,000. While the release includes a bio of Allbaugh saying he is “widely recognized and admired,” it does not note Allbaugh’s long history as a board member for the NRA, a controversial firearm advocacy organization.

“I am honored by the board’s decision to select me as the interim director,” Allbaugh said in the release. “I am excited to come back home and look forward to working with the legislators during this upcoming legislative session.”

Allbaugh’s NRA board membership is noted in his shirttail for commentaries on the Washington Times and the McCarville Report, and his name appears in IRS filings available on GuideStar for fiscal years between 2009 and 2013, the most recent year available for public review.

Alex Gerszewski, DOC spokesman, confirmed Allbaugh is still an NRA board member. The organization does not list its board members online, but this article on the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action notes the organization has 75 board members.

His new position, which commences Monday, will be his first within the realm of corrections, according to Gerszewski.

“But he does have experience both in public and private sector operations,” Gerszewski said while driving from McAlester to Oklahoma City after Thursday’s meeting. “(The board) started looking (for an interim director) after Patton turned in his resignation.”

Meanwhile, Patton’s new position with private-prison firm GEO Group has raised questions because he worked closely with GEO on contracts when he was DOC director, as reported by Oklahoma Watch.

The Board of Corrections’ next meeting will be February in Lawton, Gerszewski said.


Corrections board member resigns, wife’s prosecutorial role questioned” by William W. Savage III