OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Latest on a Republican state senator from Oklahoma accused of assaulting an Uber driver (all times local):
The head of the Oklahoma Senate says a Republican state senator accused of grabbing an Uber driver and trying to kiss her on the neck while she drove him to a hotel is being relieved of his leadership duties while the allegations are being investigated.
In a letter sent to Senate members on Thursday, Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz said the allegations against Sen. Bryce Marlatt are "very serious in nature and are not tolerated."
Schulz said he planned to revoke Marlatt's chairmanship of the Senate Energy Committee and his vice-chair position on two other panels pending an investigation into the allegations.
Marlatt did not return a telephone message left by the AP, but his attorney Robert Don Gifford said his client is "shocked" by the allegations.
The attorney representing a Republican state senator accused of grabbing an Uber driver and trying to kiss her on the neck while she drove him to a hotel says his client is "shocked" by the allegations and intends to cooperate with authorities.
Attorney Robert Don Gifford confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday 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 of the June 26 incident.
Marlatt did not return a telephone message left by the AP, but told The Woodward News he retained an attorney to "get to the bottom of these allegations."
Gifford said Marlatt has not been contacted by police and that Marlatt first learned of the allegations when he was contacted by Uber.
A law enforcement official says an Oklahoma state senator is accused of grabbing an Uber driver and kissing her neck while she drove him to a hotel.
The driver reported the incident to Oklahoma City police June 28, two days after she says it happened.
Names are redacted from the police report. But a person in the Oklahoma County District Attorney's office familiar with the case told The Associated Press on Thursday that the accused is Republican state Sen. Bryce Marlatt of Woodward. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Marlatt didn't immediately return telephone messages from the AP. His attorney, Robert Don Gifford, told television station KFOR that Marlatt "was shocked and surprised by the allegations."
Uber says it is cooperating with police.