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Article 21: March 2022
Call the Editor regarding sheriff’s office

Call the editor

We always want to hear your opinion. CALL THE EDITOR at 286-2208 any time Sunday or after 5 p.m. weekdays to sound off on any topic. You need not give your name. All responsible comments will be recorded and considered for publication, but we reserve the right to edit them. Items criticizing individuals won’t be used unless the person has involved himself or herself in a public issue. Signed letters are welcome for the Letters to the Editor section.

Believes sheriff guilty
Reading the paper this morning, I see the sheriff refused to take a hair follicle drug test. That’s because he’s guilty. Heck, even Stevie Wonder could see that!

State’s support of Swadley’s
After the article in the paper about Swadley’s making $17 million, and he’s got about five of those restaurants in the state parks, is he getting $17 million for each one of them? It just sounds a little strange to me, because they ran the women off that were up there in that café and rebuilt it for Swadley. The girls are doing good. They opened up another café out on 259, but running everybody out and putting Swadley in looks like it’s got something to do with Gov. Stitt.

All we saw was that since 2020, the state has paid Swadley’s more than $13.6 million. We’ve heard rumors about the governor’s past relationship with the owner, but seen nothing in print about it.

Barrick not a thief
In response to the call in the paper, “Sick of thieves,” (the man who died) Bobby Barrick, and that was supposedly attempted burglary at the store in Eagletown, he didn’t have a gun, he didn’t have a knife with him. As a matter of fact, he didn’t have anything from the store at all found on his person.

So, he was dropped off there, and the other person who got away wasn’t someone who was with him; he had just gotten a ride from that person because of his pickup running out of gas, which the pickup has just been found today by a friend. Law enforcement did not find the truck; it was found by a friend.

This guy doesn’t come down except to see his family. He’s not a thief; he and his wife have been married. They live at Tulsa and just come down for family or to stay at Beavers Bend and enjoy that.

The (caller) said don’t let looks deceive you. Well, I have plenty of pictures of him and his wife on vacation and at the job and different things. I just want people to know they are far above thieves or dopeheads, so I wanted to report that.

I just want to answer some of the questions. There haven’t been any law officers to see his family. There haven’t been the FBI to see the family. The Indian Nation hasn’t come to see the family. As a friend to the family, I just wanted to let the paper know that these people are not thieves or thugs or anything of that sort, and they certainly don’t have to steal.

On drug tests and Barrick’s death
Editor’s note: Back when a woman was missing and her body later found, our sheriff did some interviews with KSLA TV. Quite a few people thought the sheriff was tweaking in one interview, and law officers say they have sometimes seen that behavior before when he goes to accident scenes.

One officer said if commissioners ever wanted to get rid of him, all they would have to do is require he take a hair follicle drug test, and the sheriff would resign rather than take it.

A few weeks later, a man died in sheriff’s department custody. People became fearful that a huge lawsuit could be the result, and they feared the sheriff’s department was completely out of control. Many demanded the sheriff get out of office.

Thinking that commissioners were likely getting calls like that, too, one night following a hospital authority meeting I spoke to commissioner Westbrook and told him if they wanted the sheriff out, there might be an easy way: Just order him to take a hair follicle drug test. They had the justification for doing so in that KSLA video. The commissioner didn’t respond, but at a later meeting of the hospital authority, when the subject of accountability came up, he said the sheriff would take a drug test if my son Chris would. I said I would talk to him about the commissioner’s proposal, and did.

Here was his response.
“That’s ridiculous. Let’s see, we just had a guy die in the custody of the sheriff’s department, it looks like a deputy at least contributed to the death, and how did this county commissioner respond? He could have demanded accountability from the sheriff’s department, demand to know the details of what happened and why the strange situation of the Taser had occurred. Did he do that? Not that I’ve heard.

“The commissioner could also have expressed condolences to Barrick family, and promise them that county leaders would get to the bottom of what happened that caused the death of their loved one. That might have reduced the likelihood of a lawsuit. Did he do that? No.

“Instead, the commissioner tried to help the sheriff to come after the only reporter who tried to learn what happened that day, and to report on it. Does this not strike you as completely bizarre behavior for a county commissioner?

“No, I’m not going to be a part of their silly games. I’m going to continue to do my job, and they should stick to doing theirs.”