Possibly dozens of drunken-driving suspects were never charged because highway patrol troopers failed to turn in paperwork to prosecutors, The Oklahoman has learned.
Oklahoma County prosecutors uncovered the problem themselves, and they have begun filing charges against those suspects months after their arrests.
The latest to be charged is legislative candidate John Paul Gibbons, who was arrested in Oklahoma City on June 15, 2012.
Gibbons, 51, of Oklahoma City, is one of four Democrats seeking the open District 88 seat in the state House of Representatives.
He was charged Monday with driving under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor.
Gibbons said he had had only one beer and was not drunk when he was arrested in 2012. He vowed Monday to stay in the race despite being charged.
“I got into this race for what I believe is the correct reasons. And I’m going to continue it, and I’m going to complete it,” he said.
The chief of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Monday he has opened an inquiry to identify what happened in Oklahoma County.
“I’ve also asked my deputy chiefs to look at this incident to see if it’s just isolated to the one area or if ... potentially we’ve got some problems statewide,” Col. Ricky Adams said.
The chief acknowledged he is embarrassed.
“Absolutely,” Adams said. “Any law enforcement officer, you know that any arrest you make is not complete until you follow it up with the proper paperwork and you have properly prosecuted that case.
“For whatever reason that this occurred — whether it’s administrative or otherwise — it should not have. Our agency is taking it very seriously. ... We are very proud of the quality of arrests and things we put out. If I got a problem in one of my areas, it’s going to be dealt with.”
Democrats in House race
Four Oklahoma City Democrats are the only candidates for the District 88 seat to the state House of Representatives.
•John Paul Gibbons, 51, is co-owner of The Boom, an Oklahoma City dinner club and theater. He was president of a mortgage company that he shut down in 2010 during the nationwide financial crisis.
•Paula Sophia, 48, is a transgender Oklahoma City police officer who retired from the department May 1 to run for office.
•Mark Faulk, 58, is a writer, filmmaker and political activist.
•Jason Dunnington, 36, is a visiting sociology professor at Oklahoma City University and a former pastor.