Tahlequah PD Candidate's Past Questioned

Monday, January 5th 2009, 6:03 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, News On 6

TAHLEQUAH, OK -- A candidate for the Tahlequah Police Department Chief of Police, Steve Hamby, is getting a lot of online attention, but it's not exactly the kind of attention he's looking for.

Hamby spends his days hitting the streets campaigning for the job, but some locals are paying attention to the YouTube videos he posted back in college.

Hamby's a 25-year-old guy focused on his career. He's in school finishing a criminal justice degree and he's running for Tahlequah Police Chief.

He's good with the internet, with a campaign page on MySpace.

Then there are videos he made five years ago with buddies. They are now on YouTube. Hamby dresses up like a wrestler, rocks out to music, even talks to the camera inside the bathroom. He calls it college goofiness.

"It's one of those things where you're having fun at the time. It's funny to your inner circle and as far as whether it relates to public office or not, I really don't think it does," said Steve Hamby, police chief candidate.

But, some people say it's hard to take him seriously, even question his capabilities to run the police department. One of his opponents says it's a distraction.

"I feel that people should be able to look at them and draw their own conclusions from them. If its silliness or whatever it might be, you know, it goes back to whoever's making them," said Clay Mahaney, police chief candidate.

In today's world with online videos everywhere, does stuff like this matter?

"There's nothing illegal, no profanity, no laws were broken. It was just me in college having a good time," said Hamby.

Hamby says the past is past and now his full focus is on changing his city for the better.

The election for the Tahlequah Police Department Chief of Police is February 10th. Tahlequah has 30 police officers and two detectives.