OKLAHOMA CITY -Charges have been filed against the former executive director of the Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System.
On Tuesday, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter charged Steven Snyder with six counts of filing false claims against the state and one count of violating the Computer Crimes Act.
It all started after the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services received an anonymous tip about possible misconduct. The agency conducted its own investigation and turned its findings over the attorney general’s office.
“To be clear, there is no evidence suggesting law enforcement pensions have been compromised,” Hunter said in March. “I want to assure our law enforcement partners throughout the state and their families that my office will have their best interests in mind throughout this investigation. They put their lives on the line every day to protect Oklahomans, and we will do whatever it takes to safeguard what they have worked hard for. We appreciate OMES for taking the lead and uncovering the potential wrongdoing.”
According to an affidavit, officials learned that Snyder was being reimbursed for personal trips and vacations while he was serving as the executive director of the OPPRS.
Investigators say Snyder failed to use his annual or sick leave while away from the office, including personal trips to California and an extended vacation to Europe.
In fact, investigators say Snyder would schedule impromptu meetings with investment firm representatives at destinations of his personal travel. He would ask the representatives to bring portfolios to justify the travel expenses.
“I commend the thorough investigation by the agents and attorneys in the Attorney General’s Office and the collaborative effort by OMES,” Attorney General Hunter said. “The evidence gathered shows an abuse of authority, which undermined the agency and its fiduciary responsibilities to its more than 9,000 police officers and their families. My office remains dedicated to those members and their families, while holding accountable those who attempt to take advantage of them.”
Officials say Snyder didn’t actually need to travel out-of-state since most of the investment managers traveled frequently to Oklahoma.