Healdton city manager fired and interim police chief suspended

HEALDTON, OK -- Only a couple months after the former Healdton police chief stepped down and Jarod Barnes was named interim chief the city council has decided to suspend Barnes and terminate city manager Charles Clark.

"I think that the city council has taken a step in the right direction," said Healdton resident, Tom McNeill.

He says, for months, he's been contacting city council members about a lack of leadership in the office of now-former city manager, Charles Clark.

McNeill said, "My contact with him had been very few but the contact that I have had, had been very negative in that he didn't seem to be very citizen friendly."

In a special meeting Saturday, the council voted to terminate Clark and suspend interim police chief Jarod Barnes.

"I'd never had any trouble with officer Barnes. He was always friendly to me and so forth. That was just a domestic situation, I think, between him and his wife, who was his dispatcher," said McNeill.

Court records show, Barnes' wife filed a protective order against him last week, but co-interim city manager, Adrienne Louwerse, says she cannot release any details about what led the council to suspend Barnes and terminate Clark.

"It was an executive session so it was enclosed but when they came out the city manager was terminated," said Louwerse.

Louwerse says the public is invited to attend an open city meeting next week.

"There'll be a meeting on April 7th and that's a regularly scheduled council meeting and at that time the council should decide what they're going to do about accepting applications for the city manager position," said Louwerse.

"The city manager duties are being shared between me and Adrienne right now," said Brian Scrivner, who was Clark's assistant.

He says while there's only one police officer serving the people of Healdton right now, residents don't need to worry about their safety.

"The county deputies are helping us out and filling in where they can and if he needs any help they help him out," said Scrivner.

McNeill says, "The county is doing a good job of covering, I think, so I don't have any concerns there. They have several county officers living right here in Healdton, so I think we have adequate coverage."


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