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upskirt photo allegation
Workers continue construction on the Oklahoma State Capitol. (William W. Savage III)

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater is determining whether to file a criminal charge against a former staff member of Gov. Mary Fallin’s office.

Travis Brauer, 29, served as an aide to Fallin but left the position in July. Brauer said in a phone interview Wednesday that he resigned “to pursue other opportunities.” His resignation letter, dated July 11, is embedded below.

NonDoc has learned that the Oklahoma Highway Patrol investigated Brauer for an allegation that he took photos underneath the dress of an activist in a late-night House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget meeting May 23.

“That’s completely false, and I have nothing further to say,” Brauer said. “I was made aware of it. It’s a false allegation, and that’s all I have to say.”

Brauer said the situation is “ongoing.”

Prater confirmed the same.

“I’ve been made aware of the investigation, and we’re reviewing the matter,” Prater said Tuesday.

NonDoc spoke with five people familiar with the investigation, including two who were in the committee hearing and were interviewed by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. The pair said Brauer was seated on the floor at one end of the room near activists who had gathered to request an increase to the state’s gross production tax incentive rate.

Activists hold up dollar bills during a House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget on May 23, 2017, at the Oklahoma State Capitol. (William W. Savage III)

‘An urgent and confidential letter’

NonDoc also confirmed the identity of the woman who made the allegation but has chosen not to identify her publicly at this point. A call and a text to her cell phone went unreturned as of the publication of this story.

On May 25, she posted on Facebook that she had delivered “an urgent and confidential letter” to Fallin’s office regarding “a serious crime that took place at the Capitol.” The same day, she also tagged herself on Facebook as being at the Oklahoma City Police Department.

NonDoc has been told by multiple sources that OHP was unable to retrieve Brauer’s cell phone in their investigation. An Oklahoma Department of Public Safety spokeswoman, Lt. Kera Philippi, said she could not confirm details of the investigation as of early Wednesday afternoon.

“We did conduct an investigation, but I don’t have the details of that,” Philippi said.

The OHP interviewed at least one state representative regarding the night in question. Lawmakers were at the Capitol late into the night May 23 as GOP leaders rolled out the package of bills that they ultimately and controversially used to pass the FY 2017-2018 budget.

Michael McNutt, Fallin’s communications director, said the governor’s office does not comment on personnel matters.

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William W. Savage III holds a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. He covered two sessions of the Oklahoma Legislature for eCapitol.net before working in health care for six years. He is a nationally certified Mental Health First Aid instructor.