OKLAHOMA CITY — The chief financial officer of the Oklahoma State Department of Health says he was on the job only a few weeks before he started to notice major problems with how the agency was handling its finances.

CFO Mike Romero, who was hired at DHS in April, testified for more than three hours Friday before a special House committee investigating financial problems at the agency.

Romero says he first became concerned about vague financial documents being presented to the agency’s governing board. He also said agency leaders perpetuated a culture of fear in which veteran employees were afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs.

Several top officials at the agency have been fired or resigned, and lawmakers have appropriated $30 million to keep the agency afloat.