Article 9: Jan. 11, 2022
Curtis Fields Letter to the Editor
Jan. 11, 2022
To the editor:
I have kept quiet for as long as I could. I don’t think the drama in the Sheriff’s office is good for McCurtain County. However, my integrity has been put to question, so here’s my response.
I have been approached by several victims of crimes that I’ve helped, and I’ve been asked why I let Chris into the evidence rooms at the Sheriff’s office. And the answer is that I didn’t. Chris Willingham can also confirm that I did not.
Apparently someone in the Sheriff’s office is saying that’s why I was fired from the jail. I would like for Sheriff Clardy to think real hard on this one. He had to let me into that CID office more than once to get my coffee cup and keys. I didn’t have the code. Now I have had the code in the past, but the codes were changed numerous times while I worked there. The other two rooms that are evidence rooms use a key, which when I worked there was kept in the undersheriff’s safe and the key for all deputies to use the overnight evidence room was kept in a key box in dispatch.
In short, I couldn’t have opened them even if I wanted to. The next part is that I would have never put the cases at risk that we all worked on out of spite. I wouldn’t do that to the people of McCurtain County.
I’ve been told that Alicia Manning has told people that I did this to sabotage the Sheriff’s office. I didn’t have a reason to want to sabotage the office. I QUIT the current Sheriff’s office administration, not the office and not the job.
And in response, if I wanted to hurt the administration, I would have released the photos I have of Sheriff Kevin Clardy driving a county- owned side by side in Leflore County on Cinco de mayo weekend in 2018 on a Jeep trip while drinking beer, and I would have released the pictures of Alicia Manning and Larry Hendrix posing with evidence from a sex crime.
I would also release screen shots of text messages showing that the Sheriff, Larry and Alicia were talking openly in the sheriff’s office, spreading rumors that I was sleeping with Kevin Clardy’s ex-wife, which I most certainly did not, and have not. She can also confirm that this is a lie. They are spreading these rumors and lies while threatening everyone in that office with their livelihoods if they spread the same kind of rumors about Kevin and Alicia.
I didn’t keep anything quiet to protect anyone in that office. I kept quiet because what’s happening in that office is a flat-out embarrassing to our entire county. Kevin’s maladministration has put the chain of custody of evidence on so many cases at risk.
Cases that so many of us worked incredibly hard to solve. Cases that helped many people of McCurtain County.
To Kevin Clardy: I tried to talk to you about this like grown men. You ignored me though. I’ve never in my life lied to you, and you know that. I really thought you were man enough to look me in the face and talk, but I guess not. I’m sorry it’s come to this. I really am. But I can’t let you and your administration run my name through the mud, and ruin my reputation. I don’t know if you could tell by this statement or not, but you will not have my vote in the next election.
To the county commissioners: Two of you were honorary pallbearers at my grandmother’s funeral. Our families go back long before I was born. I really expected better of you. I at least expected that you would have asked any of these employees of the sheriff’s office and the jail what was going on before you agreed to them being fired. You’ve lost a lot of my respect.
Signed; Curtis Fields.