Possible Incriminating E-mails Discovered at M.E.'s Office
By Kirsten McIntyre and Rusty Surette, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The attorney for the state's Chief Medical Examiner is speaking out after his client was placed on paid administrative leave. Dr. Collie Trant was placed on leave after concerns were raised by the Oklahoma Board of Medicolegal Investigations, but Trant's attorney, Scott Adams, said the board never explained why.
But Adams said he and his client believe it was because of e-mails that reveal criminal activity within the M.E.'s office. After bringing this to the board's attention, Adams said Dr. Trant was placed on paid leave.
"All he was trying to do was provide the board with the information that he thought was necessary and important and clean up the corruption that was currently ongoing," Adams said.
Adams said the e-mails prove that Jill Kinney, a woman hired by the M.E.'s office to investigate sexual harassment claims, lied and broke the law.
The sexual harassment claims Kinney was hired to investigate involve another one of Adams' clients, Kevin Rowland, the M.E.'s former chief investigator. Rowland is now facing three counts of sexual battery.
Describing the content of the e-mails, Trant wrote "Jill Kinney (K-Hill Consulting) who did the sexual harassment investigation for OCME then as you can see started working with some of the OCME employees to sue the agency for claims that appear to have been faked."
"The e-mails go to show the grand jury investigation and the charges against Kevin Rowland were completely and totally compromised," Adams said.
The e-mails were back and forth communication between employees at the M.E.'s office and K Hill Consulting.
"While she was conducting the investigation, she was secretly soliciting clients to make wage claims and would sign them up for contracts for a percentage they were able to recover," Adams said.
Adams said he believes Kinney should be under criminal investigation and said it's ironic she was investigating sexual harassment within the M.E.'s office.
"You've read these e-mails. Here's a lady who supposedly investigating sexual harassment in a state agency. She's written some of the most vile, obscene stuff that I me, personally, I could hardly read it," Adams said.
In one e-mail, Kinney wrote Rowland never did anything wrong.
"If in fact these e-mails were generated by Mrs. Kinney, we're very upset about this," said Cherokee Ballard, M.E.'s office spokesperson.
Cherokee Ballard said the board paid Kinney $3,500 to conduct the sexual harassment investigation, but after seeing the e-mails, Ballard said she agreed Kinney may have broken the law and the embattled agency is done doing business with her.
"If in fact these emails came from Jill Kinney and this is the way she conducts herself, we'd like our money back. That's gross," Ballard said.
NEWS 9 contacted Kinney about whether she was working with employees to file labor claims against the state. She said she could not comment at this time but perhaps would talk later.
Kinney is also an employee with the Department of Human Services. At least one email came from her work account and contains vulgar language. There were many others sent from her personal email account that contain sexually explicit content.
DHS sent NEWS 9 an e-mail stating although Kinney is an employee, her work at the Medical Examiner's office was done on her own time and is unrelated to her work at DHS.
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