Gov. Kevin Stitt accepted the retirement of Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Commissioner Rusty Rhoades today and appointed the state narcotics agency director to replace him, according to a press release.
Stitt named John Scully, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, as Rhoades’ successor. A 32-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department, Scully was tapped to lead OBNDD in February 2016.
“John Scully is an experienced public safety professional with a reputation for building robust teams and leading with strength and honor,” Stitt said in the press release. “Scully comes at a critical time as the agency is in the midst of growing its workforce and strengthening front line services that keep our highways and communities safe. The men and women of DPS have established a legacy of serving Oklahomans with pride and excellence, and I am confident Scully will build upon this tradition and culture.”
Scully now takes the reins of the state’s largest law enforcement agency. OKDPS features a $97.2 million budget and oversees the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office and the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office and the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security.
Col. Michael Harrell, OHP chief trooper, also resigned Monday.
“They resigned effective today, and that’s about all the information that I have,” said Baylee Lakey, Stitt’s communications director.
Lakey said the governor’s office did not receive a letter of resignation from either man, both of whom are facing allegations of administrative misconduct in a lawsuit filed against them by a former OHP captain named Troy German. (German’s petition can be read here.)
Keating, Hunter praise new OKDPS commissioner
Stitt’s cabinet secretary of public safety, Chip Keating, praised Scully in the same press release.
“As a former Oklahoma State Trooper, I know that John Scully is the right person to lead this agency,” Keating said. “A man of integrity, impeccable law enforcement background and proven leadership ability, I look forward to working closely with him to accomplish the governor’s agenda of making Oklahoma a Top 10 state.”
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter echoed Keating.
“John Scully has my unqualified support as the new commissioner of the Department of Public Safety,” Hunter said. “He has a distinguished record of success as a tough, resourceful, dependable and, above all, a great leader. Scully has been a faithful friend and partner in our work together to keep Oklahomans safe. He will make us all proud as the commissioner at DPS.”