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Creek County deputy fired, in part over material on is personal Web site

SAPULPA, Okla. (AP) _ A Creek County sheriff's deputy has been fired, in part over material on his personal Web site.

Based on the recommendation of a three-member internal panel, Sheriff Steve Toliver dismissed Sgt. John O'Mara, 29, of Tulsa on Friday for ``multiple violations of Sheriff's Office policy.''

A letter detailing the committee's finding has been delivered to O'Mara's attorney, the sheriff said.

Toliver said it marked the final appeal opportunity for O'Mara, who was suspended with pay Feb. 28 after successfully appealing his first termination.

O'Mara, who has been with the department since 1997, said he would seek relief from the Board of County Commission.

The deputy last month filed a tort claim _ the first step in filing a lawsuit against a state agency _ against the Sheriff's Office.

He claimed he has been subjected to a hostile work environment by Undersheriff Rick Ishmael and Mike O'Keefe, the chief deputy.

``The gloves are definitely off on this one now,'' O'Mara said. ``They've shown that they can be tyrants. Anytime somebody stands up to powers like this, they can expect to fight an uphill battle. This is absolutely what I expected.''

During an internal hearing, O'Keefe cited O'Mara for several violations of Sheriff's Office policies and procedures, including criticism of orders, policies and members.

O'Mara reportedly criticized the Sheriff's Office to a member of the Sapulpa Police Department.

At the hearing, Ishmael also allegedly told O'Mara he had inappropriate material on his Web site concerning the Sheriff's Office.

One picture story, according to the Sheriff's Office, mocked O'Keefe. Another parodies the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal, the deputy said.

O'Mara said the material is protected free speech.
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