Former Trooper's Lawsuit Cites 'Questionable Conduct' By OHP Administration
A retired Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper is suing two of his former bosses, and a co-worker. This comes after a criminal case that was dismissed in June.
Former Captain Troy German alleged the three defendants conspired in a "cheating scheme" that cost him his job, and reputation.
German’s attorneys report he was speaking out against department corruption, and he was punished for whistle-blowing.
German had been a trooper since 1998.
Friday, August 16 in a 27-page federal court filing, German alleged "years" of "questionable conduct by OHP administration,” regarding "state funds as well as the promotional process."
In 2018, German said those issues came to a head after "three vacancies at the rank of Captain" were available.
By July, OHP tried to fill those spots, but German said Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety Billy “Rusty” Rhodes, and Chief of OHP Michael Harrell already had one name in mind, Trooper Brian Orr.
The lawsuit accused Rhodes and Harrell of providing Orr special treatment.
German said the two administrators knew Orr would face an oral interview and gave him the "four specific questions" beforehand.
German said he and Orr had a private conversation about the special treatment, and that he "recorded" Orr stating that Harrell was involved.
When German requested various meetings with Rhodes to address “ethnical” issues, German was offered favors like "a letter of recommendation" for director of the office of Emergency Management, and even being made "Major."
Beginning in August and through the fall months, the lawsuit stated German reported the "cheating scheme" to "OSBI" and various state politicians. The names include "Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat," and at the time, "Governor-elect (Kevin Stitt)."
German said the governor-elect was given "false information", and by February German had been indicted for "extortion/blackmail" in Oklahoma County.
By late-June, the state dismissed the charge, and German agreed to retire.
That, bringing the story to this lawsuit.
German claimed the reason for Trooper Orr's promotion is so that his higher-ups could secure political favors.
DPS released this statement in response to the lawsuit:
“Although the Department is aware of the existence of a federal lawsuit filed today in the Western District of Oklahoma allegedly involving Commissioner Rhoades and Colonel Harrell, no official notification of that suit has occurred at this time. We remain committed to the stance of transparency and accountability we have taken since the investigation began that led to a criminal indictment of Mr. German for blackmail and his retirement from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol pursuant to a plea agreement with the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office in exchange for a dismissal of the pending felony count against him.
Once the suit is properly served and reviewed by counsel for the affected parties, appropriate legal action will be undertaken to address any allegations against individual Patrol members or the agency as a whole swiftly and definitively in order to minimize any unnecessary impact on the positive forward movement currently underway.”
For this story, News 9 also reached out to German’s legal team, Governor Kevin Stitt, the lawmakers names in the lawsuit, and the Oklahoma State Trooper Association. They did not comment on the litigation.
Read the full lawsuit below: