- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An attorney and former Republican officeholder from Edmond has been hired as the new chief executive officer of Oklahoma’s Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust at an annual salary of $250,000 per year.

The trust’s governing board announced Tuesday the hiring of former Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner and two-term Edmond Mayor Patrice Douglas to the post.

Tracy Strader, the trust’s current executive director, who earns $120,000 a year, will stay with the agency.

Several elected officials have been critical of the trust’s seven-member board for creating a new $250,000 state position at a time when agency budgets are being slashed. State Rep. Steve Kouplen of Beggs called the board’s decision “outrageous.”

Oklahoma voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2000 setting up the trust to oversee earnings from a settlement with major tobacco companies.


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