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Travis Brauer charged
On left, Travis Brauer appears in his Twitter profile picture. On right, Brauer and former coworker Jana Miller display middle fingers in a photo recovered from Snapchat by Oklahoma Highway Patrol investigators. (NonDoc)

Former Gov. Mary Fallin aide Travis Brauer has been charged this morning in Oklahoma County District Court with two criminal counts, and Fallin herself is listed as a witness on the charging sheet. Brauer is charged with a felony for offering false or fraudulent evidence, and he also faces a misdemeanor for destruction of evidence.

Brauer resigned from Fallin’s office after the Oklahoma Highway Patrol investigated his behavior the night of May 23 at the Oklahoma State Capitol. During a House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget hearing, a woman alleged that Brauer took an upskirt photo or video of a second woman, Sara Bana.

Bana, a community advocate, reported the incident to Oklahoma Highway Patrol members who opened an investigation.

NonDoc published the OHP’s completed investigative report Sept. 7, which included detailed interviews with Brauer and other Capitol insiders.

Ultimately, Brauer never turned his phone over to investigators, saying he lost it on a weekend lake excursion days after the phone was requested by troopers.

Between the time Brauer said he would give investigators his phone and the time he met with them to say he had lost it, the report states Brauer made numerous incriminating Google searches, including “how to wipe phone before police” and “how to completely wipe a phone”.

From the affidavit filed Tuesday, written by OHP Lt. Brent Jones:

On Tuesday, May 30, 2017, Captain Brent Sugg made several attempts to contact Travis Brauer, so Travis Brauer could surrender his phone. Travis Brauer responded that he was getting a haircut and would drop the phone off later. Captain Brent Sugg called Travis Brauer and left a voice mail explaining that Captain Brent Sugg was going to get a warrant for Travis Brauer’s phone. Travis Brauer called back and stated that he was on his way to drop off the phone.

Travis Brauer arrived to surrender his phone, but explained that he did not have the phone anymore. Travis Brauer explained that he had taken the phone to a store so that the contacts could be transferred to another phone. Travis Brauer allegedly did this to safe guard the phone and the information that was contained within it. Travis Brauer went on to explain that he had then accidentally lost the phone at the lake. Travis Brauer was never able to relocate that phone.

Investigators later obtained Brauer’s laptop and found about an hour’s worth of backed-up data missing, which corresponded to the time of the meeting in question, according to the OHP report and the affidavit.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater confirmed that Fallin is a fact witness in the case because she spoke to Brauer, ordered him to turn his phone over to the OHP and notified the OHP that he would be doing so.

State Rep. Forrest Bennett (D-OKC) and Rep. Matthew Meredith (D-Tahlequah) are also listed as witnesses. The OHP report notes that they saw Brauer taking photos in the committee meeting while seated on the floor, though they said they did not see him take any photos up the dress of Bana.

Criminal filing against Travis Brauer

(Update: This story was updated at 11:47 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, to include the criminal filing document and ad information about the reason Gov. Mary Fallin is listed as a witness.)

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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.