Seminole County Sheriff Stripped Of Gun And Badge

Tuesday, February 24th 2009, 8:13 am
By: News On 6

WEWOKA, OK-- Seminole County Sheriff Joe Craig was served with a one-year suspension of his CLEET license Monday evening. In an emergency meeting, the Seminole County commissioners also appointed former undersheriff Shannon Smith as the Interim Sheriff.

The CLEET, or the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, license allows an officer to carry a firearm.

The suspension essentially takes away Craig's right to carry a firearm as a peace officer and prohibits Craig from performing any law enforcement duties.

It remains uncertain whether Craig will continue to receive his pay after being served the sentence.

He's already serving his one-year probation sentence after pleading guilty to charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and transporting an open container of liquor.

A teenage girl made allegations involving alcohol and inappropriate sexual contact against the third-term sheriff in August.

Craig denied wrong doing at the time and asked the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to look into the case.

The sheriff blames his current difficulties on local politics. It's clear he still has lots of support in town.

"I've known Joe for thirty or forty years, and I think he's always been decent," said Millard Yaught.

Last year, Sheriff Craig was elected to a third term with more than 65 percent of the vote.

He has 10 days to appeal the decision.