Former aide to Governor Fallin facing criminal charges
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
A former personal aide to Governor Mary Fallin is facing criminal charges in connection to an investigation alleging inappropriate behavior at the capitol.
Travis Brauer, former executive assistant to the governor, is facing charges of offering false evidence and destruction of evidence. Brauer was under investigation after an allegation someone took an “upskirt” picture of a protestor at a late-night budget meeting during the final days of the legislative session.
A more than 250-page report from the Department of Public Safety details the allegations and witness reports of the meeting. A FOX 25 employee was a witness who saw a phone with its camera on facing up.
The DPS investigation indicates the Highway Patrol’s legislative liaison notified Brauer that he was part of an investigation and arranged for Brauer to sit in on a viewing of the surveillance video in the days after the complaint was filed. The trooper who began the investigation said she did not know why Brauer was allowed to view the video and told investigators that she regretted the decision to allow a suspect access to the video.
Brauer told investigators he wanted to cooperate, according to an internal investigative report. However, at the advice of a friend who was acting as his attorney at the time Brauer did not turn over his smart phone immediately for forensic examination. Investigators asked Brauer again for his phone on Friday, May 26 and according to the investigative report, Brauer said he would turn it over but was headed to the lake.
The investigator told Brauer to bring the phone in the following Tuesday, May 30 when he returned. However, upon his return to work Brauer reported his phone was lost while he was at the lake. However, Brauer told investigators he managed to transfer his contacts to a new phone prior to his trip to the lake.
The DPS investigator eventually received Brauer’s laptop, which contained a backup of his phone’s activity.
“Less than three hours after viewing the surveillance video,” the investigator reported Brauer searched the victim’s name on Facebook. He later made a search for “what do officers use to download contents on phones” and “how to completely wipe a phone.”
According to DPS documents, Brauer was active on social media and his cell phone both leading up to and after the meeting, but a one-hour period of activity was missing from the records.
The report details Brauer’s consumption of alcohol and social media posts leading up the meeting. The report includes a picture he posed with another, now former, member of the governor’s staff outside the House chambers with the caption “F*** the House.”
Other witnesses interviewed by the investigator said they saw Brauer using his phone during the meeting and saw pictures he had taken.
Brauer told investigators he did not know why the hour of phone activity was missing and admitted to being intoxicated at the meeting.
“Drinking alcohol while on the job is not tolerated in my office. I do not allow alcohol to be stored in my office,” Governor Mary Fallin told FOX 25 in a statement.
Brauer resigned from his position in the Governor’s office on July 11 of this year, nearly two months after the investigation began. The governor’s office says she does not comment on personnel issues.
FOX 25 sent a message to Brauer asking for a comment on the case but the message was not returned.