Former MSU Police captain charged with two misdemeanors

O’Brien was pulled over in February. While on unpaid leave, O’Brien resigned.
Published: May. 19, 2021 at 9:58 AM EDT|Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 5:45 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University Police Captain Valerie O’Brien has been charged with two misdemeanors.

Charge One: operating a vehicle with high blood alcohol content (BAC)

Charge Two: carrying a concealed pistol with BAC of 0.1 or more.

MSU Police Public Information Officer Capt. Chris Rozman tells News 10 that immediately after her arrest by Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers, O’Brien was placed on leave with no assigned work duties. While on unpaid leave, O’Brien resigned from the MSU Police Department and is no longer an employee of the department nor the university.

Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Seimon petitioned for a Special Prosecuting Attorney after the arrest and the Michigan Department of Attorney General retained prosecution of the case.

“My office stands ready to ensure law enforcement officers are upholding the oath they took to protect and serve,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said.

In a statement, Capt. Rozman said “Our law enforcement officers are trusted with the responsibility to serve and protect all members of our community. When there is a breach in that public trust, it must be addressed.

We are aware of the charges brought against Ms. O’Brien by the Michigan Attorney General. It would be inappropriate for the MSU Police Department to comment on the pending criminal charges being brought by prosecutors. We have full confidence in the prosecutors to handle the criminal case in a fair and impartial manner.

Like any police department, the MSU Police Department has policies and procedures in place that guide the expectations of all of our employees, both on-duty and off-duty, and any time there is an alleged violation of those policies we will conduct a detailed and thorough investigation.”

O’Brien’s arraignment is set for June 7 in Ingham County’s 55th District Court.

In February, O’Brien was pulled over on I-96 after an MSP trooper witnessed her vehicle traveling well below the posted speed limit.

O’Brien refused to consent to a chemical blood test. O’Brien was also asked to rate her level of intoxication on a scale from 1-10 with 1 being not intoxicated and 10 being the most intoxicated she has ever been. She stated, “Actually, I am not going to answer that.”

MSP reported a blood test later showed O’Brien had a BAC of 0.251, above the high BAC limit of 0.17 set by Michigan law. They also reported O’Brien’s police-issued pistol was in the back seat of her car at the time of the arrest, after she claimed to be unarmed.

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