A Republican state senator from Oklahoma accused of forcefully grabbing an Uber driver and kissing her neck while she drove him to a hotel is shocked by the driver’s allegations, the lawmaker’s attorney said Thursday.
The driver reported the incident to Oklahoma City police on June 28, two days after she says it happened, by flagging down a police officer at a convenience store a few blocks from the state Capitol.
Attorney Robert Don Gifford confirmed to the Associated Press that his client, state Sen. Bryce Marlatt of Woodward, is the person named in a redacted police report that details the Uber driver’s complaint in the June 26 incident. Gifford said Marlatt was unaware of the driver’s complaint until Marlatt was contacted by Uber.
“The senator was shocked by the allegations,” Gifford said. “He wants to get to the bottom of this, and that’s why he’s gotten us involved, to contact Uber and figure out what happened.”
Marlatt, 40, did not immediately return telephone messages from the Associated Press, but told the Woodward News that he retained an attorney to “get to the bottom of these allegations.”
Marlatt, a married father of four, has not been arrested or charged, and police spokesman Sgt. Gary Knight said detectives were still investigating the incident.
Uber says it is cooperating with police.
Marlatt was relieved on Thursday of his role as chairman of the Senate Energy Committee and vice chairman of two other Senate panels by Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz.
“Allegations like those contained in the police report concerning Sen. Marlatt are very serious in nature and are not tolerated,” Schulz wrote in a letter to Senate members. “Further action may be taken as deemed necessary.”