Wednesday, April 1, 2015
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today accepted the resignation of Troy Wilson, Sr., the first chairman of the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission. His resignation takes effect May 31. To read Wilson's resignation letter, click here.
The governor named Dr. LeRoy Young, of Oklahoma City, to replace Wilson on the commission beginning on June 1. Fallin also named Mark Liotta, a former state representative from Tulsa, to succeed Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Denise Engle, whose term expires in August.
Both appointments must be approved by the Senate, which is in session through May. The governor acted today to ensure time for their confirmation process. Robert H. Gilliland remains on the three-member commission; his term doesn’t expire until 2017.
“When I named Troy as chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, I gave him a big task: building a brand new workers’ comp system from scratch,” said Fallin. “He has done that. Today, our new administrative system is saving businesses hundreds of millions of dollars and injured workers are being treated fairly, getting help, and getting back to work quickly. I appreciate Troy’s hard work and diligence.”
Wilson, who came out of retirement in 2013 to answer the call from Fallin to serve as the first chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, said in his resignation letter (see attachment) that he is proud that workers’ compensation insurance rates are being reduced by 22 percent.
“It is my prayer that Oklahoma will experience over a $400 million savings per year and each year thereafter by the end of your second term,” Wilson wrote. “You directed me initially to ensure the injured worker is treated fairly, medically treated and returned to work faster. I am happy to say this mission is being accomplished while cases are being resolved more consistently and more quickly than before.”
Young, Wilson’s replacement, has been licensed to practice medicine in Oklahoma for nearly 40 years. He has a private practice and has been a staff member of St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City since 1989. Before that, he served as a staff member at the former Moore Municipal Hospital and the former Hillcrest Health Center.
Young grew up in Loyal, earned bachelor’s degrees from Central State College, now the University of Central Oklahoma, and the University of Oklahoma, and a doctorate degree in medicine from the Kansas City (Mo.) College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Liotta, of Sapulpa, is chief deputy to the Tulsa County Board of County Commissioners and is chairman of the Oklahoma Employees Insurance and Benefits Board, which used to be known as OSEEGIB, the Oklahoma State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board. He also owns a 40-acre cow/calf operation in Creek County. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Southern Nazarene University in Tulsa.
“Mark brings a diverse range of experiences to the Workers’ Compensation Commission and is aware of the critical role the Workers’ Compensation Commission has in our state,” said Fallin.”The knowledge he gained the past five years as chairman of the Oklahoma Employees Insurance and Benefits Board will be extremely valuable.”
Legislation that established the Workers’ Compensation Commission calls for the governor to appoint all three members, with one appointment recommended by the speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Former House Speaker T.W. Shannon recommended Engle in 2013. Her name was not on the list of three nominees submitted to Fallin by House Speaker Jeff Hickman.
The Oklahoma Worker’s Compensation Commission was created in 2013 by Senate Bill 1062, the state’s landmark worker’s compensation reform law. The commission started operations Feb. 1, 2014. The legislation also changed the name of the former state’s workers’ compensation court to the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims, which deals with cases filed before Feb. 1, 2014.