OKLAHOMA CAPITOL -- The state Senate voted today to confirm Ed Lake as Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and Connie Schlittler to the state board of licensed social workers after both were recommended for confirmation by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Senator Constance Johnson sponsored Lake’s confirmation and Schlittler was sponsored by Senator Clark Jolley.
Lake was hired as director of OKDHS on November 1, 2012, shortly before State Question 765 was passed by voters to change the governance structure of the agency. The referendum amended the state constitution to abolish the Commission for Human Services and to change the director’s position into a gubernatorial appointee with Senate confirmation. Although Lake was already serving as director prior to this change in statute, Governor Mary Fallin met with Lake before being hired by the Commission. Gov. Fallin officially reappointed Lake on March 12, 2013. The Senate confirmation today formalized Lake’s appointment as required by the new statute.
“I appreciate Senator Johnson’s help and support, this committee, as well as the Governor’s support,” Lake said to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. “It is a unique opportunity for me coming cold into Oklahoma. It has been very interesting and fun so far and being able to be a part of the change in governance of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, which is very important to the state and to the department. I appreciate this opportunity to serve.”
Also confirmed by the senate was Connie Schlittler, director of the OKDHS Office of Planning, Research and Statistics, as a member of the Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers.
“It is very much an honor to be in this role and serve the state of Oklahoma in this capacity,” Schlittler told the committee. “I have been licensed for 20 years as a licensed clinical social worker so it is nice to give back to new social workers coming onto the field.”