Tulsa Police Chief Disappointed After Case Dismissed Against School Principal

Wednesday, April 27th 2011, 1:40 pm
By: News On 6

NewsOn6.com & Lacie Lowry, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan released a statement Wednesday voicing disappointment that charges against a Tulsa Public Schools principal have been dismissed.

4/26/2011 Related Story: City Drops Case Against Tulsa Principal

Lynette Dixon was arrested March 7, 2011, at the Comanche Park Apartments. She was accused of interfering when police were called to her daughter's apartment.

In a statement, Jordan said the arresting officers "did not know Dixon's identity or her position with TPS when they took Dixon into custody."

He went on to say that police officers "acted lawfully and in good faith in the arrest of Lynette Dixon" and that "any insinuation that these officer's actions were done to affect Ms. Dixon's employment is ludicrous."

[Read Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan's complete statement below]

That part of the statement references what happened after Dixon's arrest.

The police chief for Tulsa Public Schools, Gary Rudick, sent an e-mail to a Tulsa Police officer, pleading to work toward a conviction for Dixon, saying the district was trying to get rid of her.

"She's a real problem," Rudick wrote. "Make sure the prosecutors are on board."

Dixon's attorney, Richard O'Carroll, got his hands on the email and read it in municipal court last week. On Tuesday, April 26, 2011, the city dropped its case against Dixon "in the interest of justice."

"The real reason this case was dismissed is because it was a corrupt system and this was a way to let it go," O'Carroll said.

Dixon's attorney says she hopes to be reinstated as Principal at Hawthorne Elementary Community School where she's worked for about 8 years. She's been suspended since her arrest.

"That's the school's choice. If they want to go fight that battle, we'll go fight that battle," he said. "I would think that they'd be wise enough to cut their losses and put her back in the building."

Rudick is on an unpaid leave of absence while the district investigate's his actions. Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, Dr. Keith Ballard, said no one at the district knew the email existed and that Rudick was not speaking for the district when he sent it. 

The Tulsa branch of the NAACP has called for Rudick's firing. 

Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan's statement:

The Tulsa Police Department was made aware that the charges against Lynette Dixon were dismissed by the City Prosecutor's Office.   Police officers have broad powers of discretion to make an arrest or not to make an arrest; as well as the City Prosecutor has discretion in the decision to prosecute, adjudicate or dismiss a case.

At the time of Lynette Dixon arrest, the officers involved did not know her identity nor was her arrest based on her position within Tulsa Public Schools. The arresting officers acted lawfully and in good faith in the arrest of Lynette Dixon and I support their actions. Any insinuation that these officer's actions were done to affect Ms. Dixon's employment is ludicrous. The police department was not and will not be influenced by any entity to take law enforcement action against one of their employees or any other person.

Although I am disappointed in the City Prosecutor's decision, it is his decision. I wish that a more detailed reason for the dismissal was given other than "in the interest of Justice."  

The officers in this incident acted exactly as expected and required; and should do so in the future.