Oklahoma Troopers Investigated For Leaving Governor's Mansion Unprotected

Saturday, August 15th 2009, 9:28 pm
By: News On 6

By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9 for The News On 6

OKALAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is charged with keeping the Governor's Mansion safe, but an investigation has found they failed to do that several times this year.

Troopers assigned to guard the mansion signed timesheets indicating they worked their full shift, but that wasn't the case.

All of this is spelled out in an internal investigation that was commissioned in March. This started after a supervisor reviewed a trooper's timesheet he called, "suspicious."

That suspicious timesheet revealed a pattern of behavior that compromised the governor's safety.

An investigation by the Department of Public Safety shows highway patrol troopers who worked in the Executive Security Division left their posts without authorization. They also knowingly and falsely signed timesheets indicating they worked a full shift. The incidents happened in February and March of this year.

Read the trooper investigation report.

A lieutenant noticed the discrepancy while reviewing a timesheet submitted by Trooper Trevor Flanagan.

That lieutenant passed Flanagan's timesheet to a supervisor who then reviewed footage from mansion surveillance cameras.

See the falsified time card sheets.

The cameras show Flanagan departing the mansion grounds shortly after arriving for his shift.

During interviews with DPS, Troopers Flanagan, Jerome Baxter and Paul Kenney all admitted to the deception and cover up.

Flanagan said Troopers Baxter and Kenney would take turns leaving early and Flanagan would pad the logs and reports to reflect that the other member was present. He went on to say this has been occurring for several months.

After a quick review of the area surrounding the mansion on Crime Tracker, you can see the troopers' presence in the mansion is a necessity. Everything from aggravated assault, robbery and rape, even homicides happened in the vicinity of the governor's mansion during the months it was left unattended.

All three troopers were reprimanded for their actions. Two of them received unpaid suspensions but are still assigned to the mansion. One was reassigned to the state capitol.