OSBI administration faces complaints of retaliation
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
The investigators are under investigation.
The director of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, OSBI, recently resigned and then un-resigned from his leadership at the agency after meeting with the agency’s commissioners.
Fox 25 has learned those actions were related to an internal complaint signed by dozens of the state's top crime fighters.
Commissioners that oversee the agency confirmed to FOX 25 they received a letter signed by more than forty OSBI employees. That letter concerned working conditions and contained complaints about the agency's leadership under OSBI Director Stan Florence.
According to state law, the employees have every right to file such a complaint with the commission. However, the commission is supposed to keep information about those filing complaints confidential.
A separate letter obtained by FOX 25 was sent to commissioners this week. It says members of the OSBI administration have launched their own investigation into who's complaining and interviewing employees about the supposedly confidential complaint.
The latest letter claims another employee's job has been threatened.
While there are no names included in the letter, FOX 25 has learned a senior administrator at the Forensic Science Center was ordered to stay at home for nearly a week following the commission's last formal meeting. The OSBI said the employee had no disciplinary reports in response to a FOX 25 Open Records Act request.
Sources tell FOX 25 this senior employee was forced to go home and not return to the state crime lab where work is done to solve some of the state’s most heinous crimes.
The Oklahoma Public Employees Association is named in the letter as representing some OSBI employees. FOX 25 contacted the OPEA and the executive director said he could not comment on letter at this time.
Commissioners contacted by FOX 25 confirm they are aware of the new complaints.
According to state law, it is a misdemeanor for commissioners to reveal the names of those who sign formal complaints.
Commission Chairman Rusty Noble told FOX 25 he is planning to call for a special meeting of the OSBI Commission to address the claims of retaliation.
The OSBI declined our request for an interview for this story.