To the Editor:
On August 1, 2023, a very public display of bad behavior, including foul language and extreme arrogance occurred behind the McCurtain County Courthouse by the Commissioner’s office. This behavior from our McCurtain County Sheriff’s Department (public servants) was for all to see and read about it.
We the McCurtain County Movement 2023 are not only flabbergasted and baffled by the continuing audacity of arrogance and unprofessionalism that keeps emanating from the sheriff’s office but due to this public display, there is a need to reiterate how increasingly concerned we are for the safety and security of all people who fall under the jurisdiction of McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office. An office, particularly the administration, that continues to demonstrate a pattern of violent rhetoric and outright aggression without fear of accountability.
Why do we have these concerns? It has now been approximately three weeks since the public An altercation involving Sheriff Kevin Clardy and Undersheriff Mike Manning shouting, insulting, and making demands of commissioner Williams and Idabel Police Chief Martin. Three weeks with no apology or explanation for the extremely poor behavior coming out of the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office.
For transparency reasons and in the interest of everyone in the county, we must ask, Why is that? Mr. Clardy and Mr. Manning, it is obvious you never absorbed the value of concepts like redemption, forgiveness, or humility. It is plain you both feel above, not just the law, but also lack a minimum amount of respect for fellow public professionals. This arrogance is not in the county’s best interest, and neither is the culture of bullying and disregard for others your department has developed in the last couple of years. This has contributed to the tall pile of lawsuits filed against MCSO – which is going to cost taxpayers, not you or your companies.
Our county youth are taking note of your behavior, what lessons in life are you teaching them? Kevin Clardy and Mike Manning, why is there not at least some explanation and apology for the foul language, aggression, and claims of ownership over county buildings? It seems neither of you ever makes a mistake or that you do not feel it is in the best interest of the citizens to correct your mistakes. Either way that is a dangerous precedent to set for your employees and everyone else. The buck has to stop somewhere Mr. Manning. Those buildings are county buildings – they belong to the people of McCurtain County. Your dual role as a security contractor does not grant you special, totalitarian control or ownership of county property or trump those rights of the people. What do you expect the people of McCurtain County to think of all this aggression Mr. Clardy and Mr. Manning? Are we to be intimidated? Are we to be silent? The only logical explanation for your lack of transparency is a fear of self-incrimination. You do have the fifth amendment right to remain silent – but you also have an oath to uphold the people of this county. The county’s collective patience has worn to a frazzled end with your ineptitude and actions.
We, the McCurtain County Movement 2023, not only ask that you apologize to the citizens and public servants involved for your continued, unfitting behavior but also firmly request immediate resignations from you both, Mr. Kevin Clardy and Mr. Mike Manning.
McCurtain County Movement 2023
Our mission is to advocate for the civil rights of all citizens, demand accountability and
transparency in county government, and initiate reform in McCurtain County.
To the Editor: