The Oklahoma Attorney General's office has concluded their investigation after a member of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol was accused of trying to blackmail DPS Commissioner Rusty Rhoades.
The investigation resulted in a grand jury indictment of Troy German on a charge of blackmail. The investigation also looked into the promotional practices at OHP and the Attorney General has provided two recommendations as a result of information learned during the inquiry.
The recommendations of Attorney General Hunter are consistent with the evidence gathered by the OHP internal investigation which revealed communication on a number of occasions by members seated on promotional boards with candidates appearing before those members who were responsible for scoring oral examinations.
Currently, OHP policy requires all members who participate directly in the promotional process to sign a non-disclosure agreement regarding specific information pertaining to that promotional opportunity, such as proposed questions to be presented to the candidates for promotion. Any member found to have violated that agreement is subject to discipline as outlined in the OHP Disciplinary Matrix, which can include termination depending on the severity of the violation.
According to the Department’s legal division, the internal investigation into potential administrative violations resumed on February 19th when Attorney General Hunter sent his letter to DPS Commissioner Rusty Rhoades with his recommendations and concluded his office’s investigation.
Commissioner Rhoades stated, “I am looking forward to working with our policy committee to implement the recommendations of General Hunter. Bringing more oversight to the promotional process can only serve to enhance internal confidence in the practice of selecting the right members to elevate in the chain of command. This administration is committed to transparency, and will continue to consider implementation of proactive changes to promotional opportunities moving forward.”
The Office of Professional Standards (OPS) operates independently from the criminal investigation unit and is responsible for investigating allegations of administrative policy violations within the Department. OPS will be handling all internal allegations not addressed by the criminal investigations of both OHP and the Attorney General, and will produce its own report to the administration for review and action.
None of the remaining allegations relate to Commissioner Rhoades, Chief of Patrol Michael S. Harrell, or Captain Brian Orr.