Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Vian Officer, Police Chief Resign over ‘Politics’

Vian Officer Lindsey Green, left, was named the department’s March Officer of the Month, and was presented a plaque by Vian Police Chief Ted Johnson. Both Green and Johnson have resigned over what they describe as “small town politics” involving the son of a Vian council member’s son.

Vian Police Chief Ted Johnson submitted his resignation Wednesday morning in support of one of his officers who has also resigned.

Lindsey Green resigned Monday after she arrested Joshua Smith, son of Vian council member E.O. Smith Jr. E.O Smith is also a candidate for the Cherokee Nation Council.

Green has stated that she was chastised by city officials for arresting Smith’s son for driving with a suspended license. Green said City Attorney Larry 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 Vian Mayor Dennis Fletcher told her she violated Joshua Smith’s civil rights, which she added to her report. She said Fletcher had Joshua Smith released from the Sequoyah County Jail 15 minutes after he was booked.

Joshua Smith was ticketed last year for driving without a license and Green was tipped off by an off-duty officer that he was driving. Green said she visited with District Judge Jeff Payton, and Payton told her she did have probable cause and the arrest was justified. 

Both Green and Johnson blame the incident on “small town politics.”

Vickers and city officials told the media the incident is to be investigated.

Green was named Vian’s March Officer of the Month by Johnson and was presented with a plaque. She began with the Vian department in December.

“I support her and all of my officers 100 percent,” Johnson said.

Johnson said Green had already said she had another job opportunity and was planning on leaving. He said he did not know what her new job opportunity was.

He said, “I backed her 100 percent and told her she did the right thing.”

Johnson said he suggested his assistant chief, Mar Fisher, be named Vian’s police chief, and Johnson plans to work through the end of the week to ensure a smoother transition.

“I enjoyed working for the town,” Johnson said. “The people and the officers are great. I thank the citizens for the opportunity to serve as their chief. I wish my officers luck and hopefully they do well in their careers.”

KXMX reached out by phone to Vickers but had not received a return call by 3 p.m. Wednesday

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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