Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has accepted the resignation of Troy Wilson Sr., the first chairman of the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission. His resignation is effective May 31.
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.
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.”
In his resignation letter to Gov. Fallin, Wilson, who came out of retirement in 2013 to take the post, said he whe he accepted the position he “had no idea” how difficult it would be to create the new agency and “that it would involve so many conflicts and difficulties even though you warned me.”
He acknowledged some of the difficulties were “self-inflicted” and included under-funding and “our acceptance of poor legal advice.”
However, Wilson also recognized that there has been a 22 percent reduction in workers’ comp rates, “saving the employers over $220 million including $9 million to State and Local government by the end of this year.”
He told Fallin that it is his “prayer that Oklahoma will experience over a $400 million savings per year and each year thereafter by the end of your second term.”
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.
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.
Legislation that established the Workers’ Compensation Commission calls for the governor to appoint all three members of the commission, with one appointment recommended by the speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
The Commission was created in 2013 by Senate Bill 1062, the state’s landmark workers’ 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.
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