Woman alleges verbal, physical abuse by former DPS director Frank Milstead

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 3:53 PM MST|Updated: Sep. 20, 2022 at 6:29 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A former director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety has been served an Order of Protection over allegations of abuse from a woman he was in a relationship with.

The woman made the claims against Frank Milstead in a petition filed in Maricopa County Superior Court in late June, accusing him of verbal and physical abuse. She also says he threatened her.

The Allegations

  • In July of 2021, the woman claims Milstead “grabbed her by the arms and violently shook her, causing significant bruising.”
  • In March of this year, she says, “thinly veiled violent threats” were made against her in a recorded conversation. This is the transcription, according to the petition:
  • The following month, the woman says she told Milstead several times that she wanted him to stop trying to contact her and her children. She says she kept a record of attempts and that from April to when the petition was filed, she logged “approximately 200 calls, texts, emails, voice messages, pictures, songs, and in-person intrusions.”
  • The petition also accuses Milstead of using his car to block her from backing out of her garage. In April, she says Milstead responded to being asked to leave by “yelling, gesturing erratically, and angrily referencing some piece of property he believed was at [petitioner’s] home.” It goes on to say he physically overpowered her and forced his way into the home, and was witnessed by the woman’s sister.
  • Milstead is also accused of reaching out to her children to learn her whereabouts and that he would regularly appear in places he knew she would be. In June, Milstead reportedly called the woman to let her know he would be at a specific place in California at the same time as her annual family vacation.
  • In a text message around the same timeframe, Milstead wrote, “There is nothing you have done that I can’t forgive you for, but it has to be you and I until death do us part,” which the woman interpreted as a threat.

On June 27, a judge granted the woman and her two children an Order of Protection. In that order, Milstead is to have no contact with any of them except through attorneys and other parts of the legal process. He is also ordered to stay away from her home, workplaces, and schools.

There is no known criminal investigation into the woman’s allegations.

Milstead files suit

Not even three months later, on Sept. 16, Milstead filed a lawsuit against the woman over a home they bought jointly in Chandler in 2019. He says in the court documents that the relationship ended because she was unfaithful “on numerous occasions,” and now wants his share of the estimated net equity of the home.

Milstead retired from DPS in April 2020 after five years on the job. That happened only a few months after he was stopped for driving over 90 miles per hour and weaving through traffic on I-17 while off-duty. Milstead was given a warning after handing a Yavapai County sheriff’s deputy his DPS credentials.

Milstead is listed online as the current Director of Big Leadership LLC, a consulting firm. Before heading up DPS, Milstead was a Phoenix police officer for 25 years and Mesa police chief for 5 years.

Milstead’s lawyer, Larry Wulkan, has released a statement regarding the allegations:

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