The Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector, as the chief auditor for the State, is responsible for auditing the financial accounts of all government agencies within Oklahoma. The State Auditor and Inspector also performs performance audits and special investigative audits upon request by certain state officials and upon petition by citizens.
The mission of the Oklahoma State Auditor is to “independently serve the citizens of Oklahoma by promoting accountability and fiscal integrity in state and local government”.
Cindy Byrd, CPA, was elected Oklahoma’s 13th State Auditor and Inspector on November 6, 2018. Cindy graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs. Cindy lives in Coalgate with her husband, Steve.
Lisa Hodges, CFE, CGFM is Deputy State Auditor for State Agencies, Information Services and Specialized Audits. Lisa has been with the office since 1981. She became a Certified Fraud Examiner in 1993 and a Certified Governmental Financial Manager in 1996. She has participated in NSAA’s External Peer Review Program since 1998. Lisa graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Oklahoma State University in 1981.
Brenda Holt, CPA, is Audit Director for the Forensic Audit Division. Brenda graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 1984 and has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1987. During her tenure with SAI, Brenda has conducted county audits, college and university audits, state agency audits, and special audits of municipalities, school districts and other government entities. She works closely with prosecutors, governing boards, and the public in identifying fraud and waste of public funds by gathering the facts necessary to support successful prosecution of wrongdoers.
Melissa Capps is Director of the Performance Audit Division (PAD). She graduated in 1998 from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Business Administration Finance degree. Melissa has 17 years of service with the State Auditor’s Office including experience in the State Agency Audit Division conducting audits at DHS and the Health Care Authority. During her tenure as PAD Audit Manager, Melissa has directed performance audits conducted at the Dept. of Corrections, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Dept. of Environmental Quality, the Corporation Commission, and the Dept. of Tourism plus numerous operational audits of state agencies.
Billy Swindell, Director of the State Agency Audit Division (SAAD), graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma. Billy has 29 years of experience in the auditing industry, with 27 of those years at SAI. Billy joined SAI as an auditor and was promoted to Supervisor in 2005. Shortly thereafter, in 2007, he was promoted to Manager and later advanced to Deputy Director in 2015. Most recently, Billy earned the role of Director. Throughout his career, Billy has audited about every major program at the State of Oklahoma ACFR and single audit levels (State of Oklahoma, OMES, OHCA, OSDH, OSDE, DHS, DOC, DPS, DMHSAS, OST, OESC, and ODOT). Over the last 10 plus years Billy has overseen the State of Oklahoma’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR). As Director, Billy manages a staff of roughly 30 individuals who are responsible for auditing the ACFR, along with the single audit of federal expenditures for numerous agencies.
Mark Hudson, CPA, CGMA is Director of the Specialized Audit Division for the office. Mark has over 20 years of governmental auditing experience including oil and gas, horse racing and gaming. He graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1990. In addition, he is a current member of the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Cindy Wheeler, CPA is Director of Quality Assurance. Cindy graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She obtained her Masters of Business Administration in 2002 from Oklahoma Christian University. She began working for the State Auditor’s office in 2004 in the State Agency Audit Division and took over as Quality Assurance Director in 2011. Cindy is a Certified Public Accountant and participates in the National State Auditors Association’s (NSAA) External Peer Review Program.
Mick Dodson, JD, Director of Compliance, joined the SAI in 2011 and is the senior investigator. He is a graduate of the FBI Academy and a former special agent, and he is certified by the Department of Education as a meetings/records legal instructor. He has a juris doctorate degree with a public-policy certification and awards in administrative law and professional responsibility, and he is a member of the Bar Association. While in law school, he served on the city council of his hometown and worked in the district attorney’s office of a populous county. He also has a bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism with a public-relations emphasis.
Marla Latham, CGFM, Audit Manager, County Audit Division, joined SAI in May 1984 after graduating from East Central University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She holds the professional Certified Government Financial Manager title awarded by the Association of Government Auditors. In 1988, Marla took a position as Accounting Manager with the Tarrant County Clerk’s office, in Ft. Worth, Texas. Never a Longhorn, Marla returned to Oklahoma and SAI 13 years later and has been with the agency since 2003. In all, Marla has more than 22 years of service for the state on behalf of taxpayers and conducts audits in central and north-central Oklahoma counties from the Oklahoma City Regional District office.
Ricky Branch, MBA, Audit Manager, County Audit Division, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Cameron University in Lawton and a Master of Business Administration from Oklahoma City University. He joined the agency in 1990 and has been an integral part of the County Audit Division during his 31-year tenure with SAI. Ricky serves as Audit Manager at the Duncan Regional District office and oversees audits in 23 counties in the southwest quadrant of Oklahoma. His knowledge and application of government auditing standards is key to assisting county officials to remain compliant with state and federal reporting requirements.
Kerri Carter, Audit Manager, County Audit Division, is a 1990 graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education. She joined the County Audit Division staff in 1994 and has 27-years of government auditing experience. Kerri hails from Green Country and oversees audits in nine northeast Oklahoma counties from the Tulsa Regional District office. Kerri oversees Tulsa County’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Audit and she and her team regularly conduct federal Single audits for counties in her district. Her team will play an important role in auditing millions of federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Jessie Morris, Audit Manager, County Audit Division, graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 2005 attaining a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting. Prior to joining SAI in 2009, Jessie audited various banks and a publicly traded trucking company. Since joining SAI, Jessie quickly earned the role of audit manager and directs audits in 17 northwest and north-central Oklahoma counties from the Weatherford Regional District office.
John Brownell, Audit Manager, County Audit Division, received his Bachelor of Business Management from St. Gregory’s University. John joined the County Audit Division in 2006 as an entry level auditor. During his tenure, he’s conducted just about every type of audit in which the agency engages including investigative, performance, and financial statement audits. As an Audit Supervisor, John was an integral part for many years in planning and conducting Oklahoma County’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Report and its federal Single Audit of federal expenditures. John was named Audit Manager of the Ada Regional Office in April 2022 and will oversee audits in 13 counties in East-Central Oklahoma.
Darla Ellis, CIA, CFE, Audit Manager, County Audit Division, started as an entry level auditor in 2001 while still in college. She would earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from East Central University in Ada in 2002. Darla has conducted numerous types of audits during her tenure with SAI including county government audits, federal Single audits, investigative audits, District Attorney and EMS audits. She’s assisted with staff training and development and worked with our Information Services Division to develop technology to improve auditing efficiencies and reduce audit costs. A Certified Internal Auditor and a Certified Fraud Examiner, Darla is on the frontline of safeguarding public assets. She was recently tasked with overseeing statutorily mandated audits of Circuit Engineering Districts and manages a team conducting county audits in six southeast Oklahoma counties.
Melissa Laffoon, Audit Manager, District Attorney/EMS Audit Division, began her career with the State Auditor’s office in 2007 in the County Audit Division. She earned her Bachelor of Science Business Administration degree in Accounting from Northeastern State University in 2008. During her tenure with the agency, she has conducted several types of audits including, County financial statement, investigative, Emergency Management Service, District Attorney, and federal single audits. She was promoted to County Audit Supervisor in 2011, where she was responsible for the audit of seven Oklahoma Counties, and most recently promoted to Audit Manager over the District Attorney/EMS Division in September 2023. Her focus will be primarily on overseeing the audit of the state’s 27 District Attorney offices and 64 Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Districts.
Cheryl Wilson, County Management Services, joined the Auditor’s office in 1994 where she has worked as a County Auditor and an Information Systems Auditor prior to joining Management Services. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree from East Central University and she is a Certified Fraud Specialist.
Nancy Grantham, State Board of Equalization/Estimate of Needs/Annual Budgets Executive Specialist, joined the agency in 1986 and was recently recognized for 35 years of service to Oklahoma taxpayers. Nancy is the administrative assistant to the Board of Equalization and works with its subcommittee on ad valorem compliance by counties. She works directly with the Oklahoma County Assessors Association and other county officials. Nancy was part of the team responsible for creating the online electronic Estimate of Needs for county government and school districts. The onerous task included creation of uniform account codes for all 77 counties. Nancy also oversees the receipt and review of more than 1200 public budgets that are posted online each year for state residents to view at no charge.