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TSET - Patrice Douglas
(NonDoc)

Suffocating in a thick cloud of smoke, Patrice Douglas walked out of the bar Wednesday afternoon.

The former Mayor of Edmond announced she would not accept the new high-salaried CEO position with the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust that had drawn ire and outrage from both ends of the political spectrum.

The position called for a $250,000 salary, which detractors noted was $100,000 more than Gov. Mary Fallin makes. Fallin had halted the processing of Douglas’ employment amid the resulting storm of bad press.

“One learns very quickly in these types of matters how priceless family and true friends are,” Douglas said in a statement emailed to reporters. “Let me note, I did not pursue this position. An executive search firm engaged to oversee the hiring process contacted me.”

The TSET board of directors also included a joint statement Wednesday:

We have the utmost admiration for Patrice Douglas. She comported herself professionally and thoughtfully throughout the process, including the difficult last few days.  While we are very disappointed, we respect and honor the decision by Patrice. She was exceptionally qualified for the position with an impressive record of achievement in the both the public and private sectors.   Her vast knowledge of investment, finance, law and executive management made her eminently qualified to lead TSET, particularly in light of the expected retirement of our longtime executive director in the next year. Our search firm, which was recommended and approved by OMES, strongly recommended we consider Patrice.   We did and she quickly rose to the top of the list, which included people from both the public and private sectors.

The board said it would “pause and reassess” before making a decision on whether to hire another person for the controversial position.

“While I am disappointed it didn’t work out as anticipated, I am at peace with my decision and look forward with high anticipation to restarting the opportunities presented in the private sector for me,” Douglas said in her statement.

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William W. Savage III (Tres) holds a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. He covered two sessions of the Oklahoma Legislature for eCapitol.net before working in health care for six years. He is a nationally certified Mental Health First Aid instructor.