Sexton On Executive Session: “Longest In History Of This Board”

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Last week, the Fort Smith board of directors gave the head of the civil service commission the option to recuse himself from his position because his law partner is suing the city.

His decision was to stay put until the lawsuit is over.

"I knew during the two hours (of executive session) from the vote that had happened before the session had occurred that the vote was four to three (in favor)," said Sexton.

So, he'll remain the chairman and recuse himself on a case by case basis. Still, he thought, the two hour wait for a decision was strange.

"I certainly did," he told 5NEWS, "I think it was the longest session like that in the history of this board."

While everyone waited with bated breath for a decision, Sexton was mostly calm. He says, because he had an idea of what was going to happen. What has been stressful, however, is the entire situation in all its complexity.

"This whole thing has been very stressful to me because I have done nothing but try and make sure I made the best decision in every case in the best interest of the people of Fort Smith," he said.

Regarding the case-by-case basis, Sexton says he has to be cautious.

"If I feel like my fairness, my ability to be fair, can be reasonably questioned, then I'll step down in the case."

But Sexton is hopeful moving forward -- he says meetings with city administrator, Carl Geffken have been positive.

"It went very well," Sexton recalled, "We discussed options for the city and moving forward in the best interest of the police and fire department."

Those best interests, Sexton says, are a top priority.

"Because of the fact that I care about the people of Fort Smith, I care about the police department, I care about the fire department; I care about what happens to all of them."

Sexton added that since he doesn't serve as an attorney for the commission, his decision was a business call, not a legal decision.