Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Employees Will Keep Jobs

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SALLISAW (KFSM) -- Employees with the Sequoyah County Sheriff's Department will end up keeping their jobs.

In early December, the Sequoyah County sheriff-elect Larry Lane said he notified six employees by text message and phone calls that they would not be working under his administration. The employees range from deputies, office workers to investigators. One employee is part-time.

The employees would have vacated their positions before the newly elected sheriff began his term in January 2017. The employees obtained Fort Smith lawyer Chip Sexton to work on their behalf.

"The employees filed a grievance under the just cause policy of the sheriff's department," Sexton said.

Sexton said the decision to release the employees is unlawful under the department's rules and regulations.

"The policy says that employees should only be terminated if there is just cause for termination and there was no cause for termination," Sexton said. "Once the current sheriff sustained the grievances, we asked the sheriff-elect to abide by that and the policy. He agreed and the matter is closed as far as I'm concerned. He did state that he is eliminating part-time employees for financial reasons, financial constraints but he was very cordial in his dealings with me and I appreciate the way the sheriff-elect handled the situation."

The sheriff-elect said leading the department in a certain direction was his reasoning for the cut in employees. He said that he had several people in mind he had planned to hire.