The Oklahoman

Oklahoma Public Safety commission­er announces he’s stepping down Sept. 10

- Nolan Clay

The top official at the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety is leaving after two years to focus on a new role — grandfathe­r.

“I’ve got no regrets whatsoever,” John Scully said Tuesday.

“I want to put myself in a position where ... if I want to go help, if I want to go babysit, if I need to go do doctor’s appointmen­ts ... I can do that.”

The Department of Public Safety runs the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and handles the issuance, revocation and reinstatem­ent of driver’s licenses.

Scully, now 60, took over as commission­er on Sept. 3, 2019, after a shake-up at the agency.

Scully told Gov. Kevin Stitt in a letter Tuesday that the timing of his depar

ture “aligns perfectly with my excitement of playing a new role, grandfathe­r.”

His first grandchild, a girl, was born Aug. 24. His resignatio­n is effective Sept. 10.

“I will continue to pray for the employees of DPS and you, as you make incredibly difficult decisions every day, and I know you don’t take those decisions lightly,” Scully wrote.

Stitt chose Scully to replace Rusty Rhoades after months of turmoil at the agency.

Scully at the time was director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control. He took over at the narcotics bureau in March 2016 after working for the Oklahoma City Police Department for more than 32 years.

He was a deputy chief his last eight years with the police department.

Scully noted in his letter to the governor that he had committed to stay two years at the Department of Public Safety and that time has come to an end.

“There are always things you could have done different,” he told The Oklahoman. “And you just don’t know if it would have had a better outcome or not. But I don’t have any regrets. I really don’t.

“My biggest disappoint­ment is COVID-19,” he also said. “Trying to run a large agency in the midst of a global pandemic is just a challenge.”

Rhoades sued Stitt and others after he was forced out as commission­er two years ago. The case is still pending in Oklahoma City federal court although a judge has thrown out most of his claims.

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