Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas plans private sector return after her term

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Outgoing Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas says she plans to return to the private sector when her term ends.

The former Edmond mayor, whose business background is in banking and law, served for more than three years on the commission after being appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin in September 2011. Her term ends Monday.

Douglas hasn't yet revealed what her next job will be, The Oklahoman reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1BQpHX3 ). Douglas said she would rather not announce it while she is still a sitting commissioner.

"We've been real quiet about it. We're going to stay that way for a little while," Douglas said. "It'll be fun. I'm staying in Oklahoma. My kids are excited about it. We're ready for the next step. I come from the private sector, and I'm going back to the private sector."

Douglas didn't draw an opponent when she ran in 2012 to fill out the remainder of a six-year term. She ran for Congress last year, losing the Republican primary to now-Rep. Steve Russell.

Douglas' successor, Commissioner-elect Todd Hiett, will be sworn in Monday. The former Oklahoma House speaker defeated term-limited Sen. Cliff Branan in the GOP primary. Hiett was unopposed in November's general election.

The commission oversees everything from oil and gas drilling, trucking and cotton gins to electric utilities and retail fuel pump inspections.

"I don't think your average citizen on the street understands how much the commission does," Douglas said. "I voted more times in the first week at the Corporation Commission than the entire time I was mayor."

With all those responsibilities, Douglas said the agency needed a strategic plan, a project she embarked on during her stint as commission chairman. Updating the agency's technology and auditing its processes were important parts of the plan, she said.

"This agency has two-thirds of Oklahoma's economy coming through it, and if we slow down, so does Oklahoma," Douglas said.

Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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