Fired Officer Looking for Answers

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

A fired police officer in Coal County with unanswered questions despite Monday night's city council meeting. A former Coalgate officier says he was fired for no reason, but city leaders say they don't need to give him one.

Coalgate City Councilmembers, along with the city manager, tried to answer the questions involving former police officer Jarel Bailey. Bailey says he was taken off the police schedule and never told why he was no longer part of the police force. He also says he never received a termination letter in writing.

While City Councilmembers did hear his concerns, City Manager Roger Cosper says legally the city doesn't have to give a reason for terminating employees. Cosper did say Bailey was fired for insubordination, but he didn't provide specifics.

Oklahoma is an at-will employment state, and Bailey was a part-time hourly employee.

"I came here to get an explanation for my termination, and I do not believe my questions were answered," Bailey said.

Some police officers say Bailey's termination is related to the arrest of Jerry Ike Shocky. Shocky was arrested on drug possession charges by the Coal County Drug Task Force February 15.

Shocky was charged with a felony offense, since authorities say it was the second time he'd been arrested.

Shocky is married to city councilmember Beva Haynes. Coal County Sheriff Ray Deck says his agency assisted with the arrest, but the drug task force received work about Shocky's possible drug possession from a member of the Coal County police force.

It's not clear if that arrest had anything to do with Bailey's firing, but Haynes was not available for comment.

Police chief Greg Munholland is on vacation this week, and was also unavailable to talk about the issue.


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