Organization apologizes to Oklahoma County commissioner for "no confidence" vote
An organization of sheriff deputies and detention officers has apologized to Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan, one week after harshly criticizing him.
The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 155 also rescinded a "no confidence" vote.
In a letter last week, FOP president Larry Grant told Maughan the organization had no confidence in him because he voted against sheriff deputies serving as school resource officers. "Our vote of 'NO CONFIDENCE' was unanimous," Grant wrote. "Our children’s safety must always come first."
In a new letter this week, Grant wrote, "We have reviewed our initial vote and feel that all our members were not notified properly. We are extremely sorry for this mistake on our part. ... Please accept our apology for any distress or any embarrassment this may have caused you personally."
Grant, a sheriff's lieutenant, also told Maughan the organization remains opposed to his stance against sheriff's deputies in schools.
Sheriff P.D. Taylor currently has 21 deputies at 13 public and private schools. The schools pick up most of the cost.
County commissioners voted 2-1 in meetings in April to renew agreements with a number of those schools. Maughan has explained he believes others in law enforcement should provide the service to schools so the sheriff can focus his personnel on the jail.
Maughan said Thursday he was disappointed in the apology.
"I was really hoping they would apologize about saying ... I was against public safety for students," he said. "I have seven godchildren and I can't imagine anything more abhorrent than something happening to them. But we have the responsibility of the jail. Other law officers in different jurisdictions don't have that responsibility."
The criticism of Maughan caused internal dissent at the organization because of its timing. Some complained the FOP should not have upset Maughan at a time the three county commissioners are considering whether to create a trust to oversee the finances and operation of the jail. Those concerns were raised even though Maughan has expressed support for a trust taking over at the jail.
Commissioner Kevin Calvey had wanted to have a vote next week but a decision has been put off to May or June. Calvey also has expressed support for having a trust in charge at the jail. The sheriff, his deputies and detention officers oppose the formation of a trust.