Commission Orders Reinstatement Of Fired OSBI Agent

Thursday, October 18th 2007, 7:37 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A former Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent who was fired for insubordination is eligible to get her job back, the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission has ruled.

Holly Kelly, who was an agent for nine years, was fired in 2006.

The Merit Protection Commission decided that Kelly should get her job back and "the OSBI level of discipline was excessive," agency spokeswoman Jessica Brown said.

The order, received by the OSBI on Tuesday evening, said Kelly should have been suspended 60 days without pay, Brown said.

"The law requires we comply, and she will return to work, even if we (OSBI) appeal," Brown said. The agency hasn't decided if it will appeal the ruling, she said.

Attempts to reach Kelly were unsuccessful.

Kelly alleged her discharge was partly in retaliation for publicly disclosing in a probable cause affidavit the details of a botched drug deal that resulted in a homicide. She also mentioned a prior grievance she filed alleging gender discrimination by a superior officer.

In documents filed with the Merit Protection Commission, Kelly said the OSBI fired her after she refused to take a psychological examination and sign a medical release that would allow her employer to review the results. One of her superior officers was among those ordering the psychological exam.

The exam, requested immediately before her dismissal, was allegedly the result of Kelly's complaints about the McClain County Sheriff's Department interfering with a murder investigation she was handling as the OSBI's lead agent, according to the documents.