- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Gov. Mary Fallin has named a former longtime assistant in the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office as her special adviser on child welfare and implementation of the Pinnacle Plan.

Tom Bates served 15 years in the attorney general’s office, mostly recently as first assistant to Attorney General Scott Pruitt from 2012 to 2014. His responsibilities included overseeing more than 90 civil and criminal attorneys and 40 agents employed by the attorney general’s office.

As the governor’s adviser, Bates will oversee implementation of the Pinnacle Plan, which is the Oklahoma Department of Human Services’ ongoing effort to reform the state’s child welfare operations.

Bates replaces Jari Askins, a former Democratic state legislator, special judge and lieutenant governor who took over as administrative director of Oklahoma’s court system on Oct. 1.

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