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Former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper could face criminal complaint

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper resigned June 29 after allegations of sexual misconduct.
BY BRYAN DEAN Published: July 26, 2011

An investigation is under way into possible criminal wrongdoing by a former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper who resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct, officials said Monday.

The Highway Patrol announced Friday that trooper Patrick Venable, 27, resigned June 29 after being interviewed by investigators.

A spokeswoman for the Logan County district attorney's office said the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has turned over the results of its internal investigation, and prosecutors should know within two weeks whether they will file charges in the case.

Patrol Col. Kerry Pettingill announced at a Friday news conference that an anonymous phone call tipped troopers off to possible misconduct by Venable several weeks ago. He did not elaborate as to the nature of the sexual misconduct, and prosecutors said there has been no arrest or official police report filed.

“It goes against our very core values if this proves to be true,” Pettingill said. “We have to have the people of this state trust us. As enforcers of the law, we have to enforce the laws even if it's internal. However, there's only so much we can do. We've done that.”

Venable has not returned calls seeking comment on the case.

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