Quinton Police Chief Loses Job At City Council Meeting
PITTSBURG COUNTY, Oklahoma - An Oklahoma police chief said he was fired from his job due to politics and racism, but the city says he falsified his time card.
The board of trustees of the town of Quinton held a special meeting at the community center Monday night where they unanimously voted to oust police chief Joe Watts.
However, many say the reasons why are still unclear.
From corruption to even racism, some people in Quinton say the decision to fire the police chief isn't sitting well.
Erin: “Do you feel like what happened last night was fair?”
Watts: “Not at all. Was not fair. Everything they had put on that, all the allegations they put on paper, every one of them was false."
Watts has worked in law enforcement and first response for 27 years; the last two in Quinton - first as an officer, then as chief.
“Once I started making changes in the direction law enforcement should be done, then that's when the retaliation came against me,” he said. “I tried to stop all contact with the city crew being involved with the police department and that upset a few people, a person.”
Watts said that person is enabling corrupt practices and obstructing police work.
Assistant Chief Billy Dickson said that's not true. He said Watts was fired because the city believes he falsified his time card and received money for hours he didn't work.
“There's nobody here that has anything to do with racism. This is not a racism deal. He got caught doing what he wasn't supposed to be doing," Dickson said.
We tried to get more information on the investigation into Watts from the city attorney and were told "no comment." We also tried to speak with a town trustee but were also told "no comment."
Something Watts says doesn't surprise him.
“I think I made a change in that town and people saw it,” he said. “I did the best I could for everyone, I didn't care who they were."
Watts said he'd love to go back to his job but doesn't think that will happen. In the meantime, he said he'll be pursuing legal action.