E.O. “Jr.” Smith of Vian said he didn’t know anything about his son’s arrest until it was over and done with.
Jr. Smith said the controversy over Joshua Smith’s arrest for driving with a suspended license may hurt his campaign for the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council. Smith is a candidate for the council to replace outgoing council member David Thornton who is term limited.
E.O. “Jr.” Smith has served on the Vian Town Council for several terms and a total of about 10 years, he said.
But when Joshua Smith was arrested for driving with a suspended license by Officer Lindsey Green last week, and told her that he was the son of a town council member, it didn’t do much good, Green said. Joshua Smith had already been ticketed once for driving while suspended, and a second stop for the same offense resulted in his arrest.
Green said she was harassed by city officials, the mayor Dennis Fletcher and the town attorney Larry Vickers. Green said Vickers yelled at her and said she did not have probable cause to arrest Joshua Smith. Vickers said the ticket should be dismissed. Green said Fletcher told her she violated Joshua Smith’s civil rights. She said Fletcher had Joshua Smith released from the Sequoyah County Jail 15 minutes after he was booked.
Vickers did not return a call from KXMX.
Vickers and Vian officials have stated the incident is to be investigated further.
Green subsequently submitted her resignation, and Vian’s Police Chief Ted Johnson submitted his resignation on Wednesday in support of Green. They both blame “small town politics” for the controversy.
E.O. “Jr.” Smith said there may be something else going on but he can’t prove it.
He had nothing to do with his son’s arrest and quick release from the Sequoyah County Jail, Smith said.
“I did not,” influence anyone to release Joshua Smith, Jr. Smith said. “It was a done deal and he was already at home before I knew about it. I was in Webbers Falls campaigning.”
Jr. Smith said Green did call him later the same day. He said he let her do the talking because he was with other people at the time.
“She said she thought she had been set up,” Jr. Smith said. “I let her talk. After that it all blew up. It went crazy. I’m the one catching all the bashing here, and I haven’t done anything wrong.”
Jr. Smith said, “It’s a messed up deal. She’s telling different stories on different channels. There’s something wrong.
“I hope it doesn’t hurt me in this election,” Jr. Smith said, adding that his opponents for the Cherokee Nation tribal council are already taking advantage of the news about Joshua Smith’s arrest and release and the resignation of the Vian police officers.
“It’s made for some sleeplessness nights. I didn’t ask anybody for favors and that’s the truth,” Jr. Smith said.
“But I’ve been lucky,” he added. “I have been overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed yesterday. But friends are calling me up and saying that are going to vote for me. I have enjoyed the campaigning.”
Jr. Smith concluded, “I just want this to go away so I can campaign.”
Then he added, “He should have known better to get in that car anyway.”
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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