By Shawn Ashley, eCapitol

Workers Compensation Commissioner Denise Engle announced she will leave her post in anticipation of her successor taking over the job. “After nearly five years of public service, I believe it is time for me to return to the private business world,”

Engle said in a press release. “I’ve been honored to serve in prominent state leadership positions including deputy to Insurance Commissioner John Doak and commissioner to the newly established Workers Compensation Commission. While I did not seek a second term on the Commission, I’m grateful to former Speaker T.W. Shannon for nominating me to the commission and to Gov. Mary Fallin for her appointment,” said Engle.

Engle was one of the first three commissioners named to the panel, which was created in 2013 by Senate Bill 1062. The bill began phasing out the state’s judicial-based work comp system and created an administrative workers compensation system.

According to Engle’s release, she has accepted an executive position with Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., one of the nation’s leading insurance brokerage and risk management firms, where she will work with a variety of large private and public sector accounts and will remain in the Oklahoma City area. “I’ve enjoyed serving the public and may someday return to public service, but currently I am very excited for my new opportunity,” said Engle.

The workers compensation statute calls for the governor to appoint all three members of the commission, with one appointment recommended by the speaker of the House speaker. Liotta was recommended by House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview. Liotta, a former state lawmaker, currently serves as chief deputy of the Tulsa County Board of Commissioners. He will begin his term immediately following Engle’s resignation May 27. Fallin announced April 1 she had accepted the resignation of Troy Wilson, Sr., the commission’s first chair. His resignation takes effect May 31. She named Dr. LeRoy Young, of Oklahoma City, to replace Wilson on the commission. The appointments must be approved by the Senate. Robert Gilliland remains on the three-member commission; his term doesn’t expire until 2017.

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