OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A sheriff in southeast Oklahoma who was amongst numerous area authorities captured on tape reviewing eliminating journalists as well as lynching Black individuals won’t encounter criminal charges or be gotten rid of from workplace, the state’s leading district attorney claimed Friday.
In a letter to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, Attorney General Gentner Drummond claimed his workplace as well as the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation had actually finished their examination as well as located no lawful premises to reject McCurtain County Sheriff Kevin Clardy.
“There are countless examples of incidents from across the country where public officials make inflammatory comments that spark severe condemnation,” Drummond created. “Oftentimes the offending official resigns in disgrace. Sometimes the outrage fades and the matter is forgotten.
He added: “Regardless, there is no provision of law in Oklahoma to throw elected officials out of office merely for saying something offensive.”
Drummond claimed McCurtain County citizens will certainly make the decision on whether Clardy stays in workplace as well as recommended Stitt interest citizens there as well as possibly recognize a person to run versus Clardy.
Clardy as well as numerous various other area authorities stimulated outrage after a neighborhood paper’s sound recording caught them grumbling concerning 2 of the paper’s journalists as well as understanding hitman as well as where 2 openings are dug. Stitt rapidly called for the resignation of Clardy, sheriff’s Capt. Alicia Manning, District 2 Commissioner Mark Jennings as well as Jail Administrator Larry Hendrix. Jennings was the just one to surrender.
A message left Friday with the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office looking for remark wasn’t instantly returned.
Bruce Willingham, the longtime author of the McCurtain Gazette-News, claimed the recording was made March 6 when he left a voice-activated recorder inside the area after an area commissioner’s conference since he thought the team was remaining to carry out area organization after the conference had actually finished in offense of the state’s Open Meeting Act. Chris Willingham, a press reporter at the paper, is Bruce Willingham’s child.
Bruce Willingham claimed he thinks the regional authorities were distressed concerning “stories we’ve run that cast the sheriff’s office in an unfavorable light,” consisting of the fatality of Bobby Barrick, a Broken Bow, Oklahoma, male who passed away at a health center in March 2022 after McCurtain County replacements fired him with a stun weapon.
With a populace of concerning 31,000 as well as surrounding both Arkansas as well as Texas, the area has a lengthy background of lawlessness going back to days prior to statehood, however in recent times it has actually ended up being a tourist hotbed, attracting hundreds of site visitors from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Follow Sean Murphy on Twitter: @apseanmurphy