Tulsa cop accused of killing his daughter's boyfriend while off duty retired and got $162,000 severance

Cop charged in death takes lump-sum pension

Pension board records show a Tulsa police officer accused of killing his daughter’s boyfriend retired from the force last month and collected a $162,000 pension in a lump-sum payment.

While state law would prevent officers convicted of felonies from collecting monthly payments, the state Police Pension and Retirement Board won’t be able to reclaim Shannon Kepler’s lump-sum payment if he is convicted.

“Our position is that we haven’t been able to do that. We are going by kind of the plain reading of the statutes,” said board executive director Steven Snyder.

The only way Kepler could receive a monthly pension would be if he was given a deferred sentence, the newspaper reported.

Kepler is accused of killing Jeremey Lake while off-duty last August as Lake walked with Kepler’s 19-year-old daughter Lisa. His next court hearing is Dec. 18.

The newspaper reported the board approved Kepler’s request to retire and collect his pension during a Nov. 19 meeting. His retirement date was listed as Nov. 1, and he qualified for about four years’ worth of payments in a lump sum. With a monthly benefit at $2,947 and a minimum pension plan interest rate of 7.5 percent, that totaled about $162,000.

While the law says crimes must be “related to their office or employment” to impact a pension, Snyder said Kepler would be disqualified from a pension if convicted.

“All police officers take an oath to uphold the constitution of the state of Oklahoma as well as the laws of Oklahoma. That violation would constitute a breach of their oath,” he said.

Kepler’s attorney, Richard O’Carroll, said he believes the law would let Kepler keep a monthly pension.