- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A freshman Republican legislator from Stroud is calling for State Superintendent Janet Barresi and two top-level education officials to step down after the department announced the hiring of a new assistant superintendent.

Rep. Jason Smalley issued a statement Wednesday calling for resignations from Barresi, new assistant superintendent Larry Birney and the department’s general counsel Kim Richey, who is married to Birney. He also wants a hiring and firing freeze at the Department of Education.

Smalley referred to Birney as a “good ol’ boy hire.”

Department spokesman Phil Bacharach says Birney is well qualified for the $90,000 a year position, with a background in law enforcement and a doctorate in education.

Bacharach says the three officials have no plans to resign and said Smalley’s comments were “grandstanding, with all due respect.”

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