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1:05 pm
Fri August 20, 2010

No Charges Against Trooper

Oklahoma City, OK – AG: Trooper won't be charged in missing parts case


SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson says a state trooper under investigation regarding missing state-owned helicopter parts will not be charged.

Edmondson said in a letter to Department of Public Safety Commissioner Kevin Ward that Trooper Joe Howard's actions while working in the aircraft division were "highly suspect," but not sufficient for prosecution.

Howard was suspended with pay in December 2008 pending the outcome of an audit and investigation. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Chris West says Howard is to return to work Friday.

The audit released Thursday says Howard was seen on surveillance video sifting through helicopter parts and putting them inside a trash bag. Howard said he took the parts to a helicopter business he co-owns for evaluation.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com