A statewide story originally reported by the Daily Oklahoman and repeated by newspapers across the state — including the Muskogee Phoenix — erroneously reported that the Oklahoma Highway Patrol chief had been indicted on charges of extortion. The officer indicted was a captain with the patrol, not the chief.
The Associated Press, which distributed the story to news outlets, quickly corrected its error, but the Muskogee Phoenix printed the uncorrected version anyway.
The highway patrol released the following statement:
The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety and Oklahoma Highway Patrol are thankful for the hard work of the citizens serving on the multi-county grand jury that handed down the felony indictment for blackmail against Troy German yesterday evening. The indictment of Mr. German is the culmination of a thorough internal investigation by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol into not only the blackmail allegation by Commissioner Rusty Rhoades, but also a rigorous and comprehensive inquiry into all statements and evidence provided by Mr. German regarding alleged improprieties in the promotional process within the agency. OHP cooperated fully with Attorney General Mike Hunter and his staff in their independent review of the internal investigation, and fully supported the decision to escalate the matter to the grand jury. Ultimately, the process resulted in the sole indictment for Mr. German. Commissioner Rhoades, Colonel Michael S. Harrell, and Captain Brian Orr are not facing criminal prosecution or administrative action.
The conduct of Mr. German and the actions of other members of the Patrol who condoned or colluded with him are wholly inconsistent with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s core values of honesty, loyalty, integrity, respect, self-discipline and professionalism. The Patrol holds all employees, whether sworn law enforcement or professional staff, to the highest personal and professional standards, and can assure the public that all those who have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable without delay.