The New Police Professionalism in Action
Posted on March 26, 2009, 2:37pm | Radley Balko
the Oklahoma sheriff's deputy who killed a woman's dog after stopping to ask for directions?
Here's the video:
Not only wasn't Deputy Sean Knight fired after that incident, he was actually promoted.
But it doesn't end there
. It turns out that another Sheriff's Deupty named Michael Laffoon was moonlighting as a security manager at a local private golf club. Laffoon got Knight a job working security at the club. Knight was later shown to have falsified his timesheets at that position. Meaning he was essentially stealing money from the golf club. Laffoon fired Knight from the security gig, but took no disciplinary action against him as a sheriff's deputy.
The kicker comes when the local newspaper asked the sheriff what he makes of all of this:
Sheriff Art Kell said, “I have enough to worry about with this other deputy stealing from the department to start an investigation over another deputy who may have falsified timesheets… until they break the law, I’m not going to get involved. I’ve had enough bad media press to deal with to start this up.”
Kell said that Winter Creek should have filed charges on Knight if they were concerned about stealing of company time, and added, “what my guys do on their own time is their own business, not mine, unless they break a policy or law.”
When asked if falsifying timesheets and stealing are against the law, Kell said, “Law, I don’t know of any law that says you can’t falsify time sheets at a golf course, so no. And if you (Reporter Mike Friend) want to keep asking me questions on this issue you’ll just damage any good relationship I have with the paper. You can’t tell me you don’t ever speed while you’re driving down the road, or that you don’t break the law and sin… so why is this such a big deal if the deputy was not working on department time? If I start calling you and asking you questions about your crimes and sins we’ll see how much you like it.”
The county is expected to settle with the owner of the dog in the video above for $15,000.