Lawmaker Calls For ERAD Program To Be Put On Hold

Tuesday, June 14th 2016, 10:23 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said the controversial card readers can only read prepaid cards, and they're right about that. 

But according to documents that News 9 has obtained, OHP originally wanted to be able to look into bank accounts.  

The OHP held a press conference Monday reinforcing that the card readers can only seize money on prepaid cards. 

“We can do nothing with someone's bank account.  We can do nothing with someone's debit card," said Okahoma Highway Patrol Chief Rick Adams.

But that apparently wasn’t the initial intention. 

In a solicitation document, a state agency working on behalf of the Department of Public Safety requests readers that are capable of accessing "banking information (account number, routing number)."  

"ERAD can assist DPS in obtaining bank information by identifying specific bank card user and contacting the institution on their behalf," ERAD responded.

DPS bought 20 of the card readers for about $9,000 plus 7.7 percent of whatever money is forfeited.

State Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, opposes the machines. 

"We were told for the past week and a half that DPS and these card scanners did not want personal banking information, but come to find out, in the contract and in the questions with the provider that's exactly what they asked for," Loveless said.

Loveless plans to ask the governor to force OHP to shelve the units until the Legislature can look into whether they're constitutionality.

"When you're balancing public safety and the Constitution, we have to side with the Constitution,” Loveless said. “Otherwise, we're just a third world country."

6/7/2016 Related Story: OHP Uses New Device To Seize Money During Traffic Stops