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Oklahoma Lt. Gov’s Bodyguard Quits

December 8, 1998

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ One of Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin’s Highway Patrol bodyguards resigned after being accused of having an affair with her.

The accusation, which has not been confirmed, was made by her husband’s lawyer during divorce proceedings last week.

Mrs. Fallin, 43, a Republican, was elected to a second term in November and has been touted as a possible GOP candidate for governor.

Rumors surfaced in early September about her and a member of her security detail, Public Safety Commissioner Bob Rick said.

The trooper, whose name was not released, first denied the allegations, but after questioning again in November, he ``admitted to unprofessional conduct and was permitted to resign,″ Rick said in a statement Monday. ``His admission did not indicate that sexual activity was involved.″

Rick didn’t elaborate on the nature of the unprofessional conduct, and his office said he was out of town Tuesday.

Mrs. Fallin filed for divorce from her husband, dentist Joe Fallin, and has told a judge that he used drugs and physically abused her. The couple have two children, ages 11 and 8.

Fallin has denied his wife’s accusations. He said he hired a private investigator to follow her, and at a hearing last week his lawyer described her relationship with the trooper as ``an affair.″

District Judge Jerry Bass prevented Fallin’s attorney from pursuing questions about the matter.

Mrs. Fallin’s lawyer, Lana Tyree, said her client would not comment. In court, Mrs. Fallin said the rumors about her and one of her bodyguards were started by her husband.

``It’s an agonizing personal tragedy for her and her family,″ the Republican Gov. Frank Keating said Tuesday. ``There will be a lot of pyrotechnics, accusations and charges as there always is in a messy, nasty divorce proceeding.″

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