FOP Denies Endorsement to Sheriff Whetsel for Upcoming Election

Kaye Beach
May 17, 2012
The Fraternal Order of Police broke with tradition this year and did NOT endorse Sheriff Whetsel in the upcoming election for OK County Sheriff.
I went to Sheriff Whetsel’s 2012 website and found this;
Sheriff John Whetsel has been endorsed by the Oklahoma State Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) as well as every FOP Lodge in Oklahoma County.
The site also claims that Whetsel has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Firefighters which also is not true.  They have yet to give their endorsement to anyone.
Then there are some other terribly out of date endorsements on the same page such as AG Drew Edmondson leading me to believe that this is simply old campaign material thrown up on our ever so meticulous Sheriff’s website.
Just a tiny  oversight or  a bit of reminiscing about the good old days when he still had the FOP in his pocket I’m sure.
May 16, 2012

For the first time in 16 years, John Whetsel was denied the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 123 of Oklahoma City. Despite bringing his own voting staff members, Whetsel was unable to garner the endorsement.

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice removed all federal inmates due to unconstitutional management of the jail facility. Today Oklahoma County taxpayers are at risk because the US DOJ is threatening to take-over the jail facility. A recent article in The Oklahoman highlighted problems that still exist despite millions of dollars that have been mismanaged in addressing the management concerns of the jail.

Whetsel promised to solve the problems at the jail in his campaign for county sheriff. His promises now ring hollow and his peers in the law enforcement community are not willing to go along anymore. His failure to win the confidence of the OKC FOP 123 should serve as a message to the voters.

Whetsel has lost touch with the needs of the law enforcement community and the taxpayers of Oklahoma County.


11 responses to “FOP Denies Endorsement to Sheriff Whetsel for Upcoming Election

  1. He lost touch years ago, but I guess he still had some fooled with false promises.(how I’m not sure).Glad to see he will be leaving without much of a fight.
    P.S. someone needs to have him remove the old information on that website. I’m embarrised for him.

  2. Nervy or oversight? In any event, people now know the truth!

  3. Republican for John Whetsel

    The majority of the people DO know the truth. The truth is that John Whetsel is the best choice for Sheriff of Oklahoma County. In addition to having far more experience than his opponent, Sheriff Whetsel has improved conditions within the jail and has provided better, safer equipment and working conditions for the brave men and women who work for the citizens of Oklahoma County. This should not be decided by party but by voting for the best man for the job, Sheriff John Whetsel.

  4. Really? Well lets take a trip down memory lane (provided by the 2009 ADAC Report)

    2003 Ballot Measure
    “On May 13, 2003, Oklahoma County voters defeated a county wide 2/5% permanent sales tax by a 19% to 81% margin. The tax would have collected $35 million a year to fund operations of the Jail and Sheriff’s office. Various theories have been advanced for the failure of this vote, including lack of oversight and lack of accounting transparency. (Emphasis mine)

  5. Continuing from the ADAC Report;

    2003 – 2007 Jail Funding Task Force.

    In the wake of the defeat of the 2003 ballot measure, the County formed a Jail Funding Task Force to propose solutions to the Jail funding problems. The Jail Funding Task Force spent years trying to understand what it actually costs to run the Jail. However, it appears that, notwithstanding its best efforts, the Jail Funding Task Force was never able to get a clear understanding of that matter. (All emphasis mine)

  6. Craig Dawkins

    Whetsel is not only NOT the “best man for the job,” anyone, even a complete novice, would run the Sheriff’s department with more competence and openness.
    Ask yourself a couple of questions. Why is the DOJ breathing down our necks regarding the Ok. Co. Detention Center? Whetsel and his apologists would have you believe it’s a “facility” issue. Well, according to the DOJ report, it’s a management issue. They cited, time and again, a breathtaking level of incompetence and “depraved indifference.”
    Ask yourself, why Whetsel purposefully overcrowded the jail, even slowed the transfer of state inmates being housed in the jail? Answer: because Whetsel did not care about the condition of the jail or work conditions inside the jail.
    Ask yourself, why did Whetsel demand more money from the county General Fund in order to hire more detention officers (DOs), and yet no additional DOs appeared on the payroll? Answer: because as sheriff, Whetsel is not held accountable by the current budget process. He spent that money however he wanted and not for the state purpuse.
    Ask yourself, why did Whetsel refuse to inform the Oklahoma County Jail Funding Task Force as to the costs of running the jail? Whetsel was a member of the task force and yet refused to cooperate because it required that he account for the monies he was already receiving.
    Ask yourself, why did Whetsel have to be sued by the Oklahoma County Public Defender in order to FORCE him to send adjudicated state inmates to the state system? Answer: because having an overcrowded jail, one that he purposely overcrowded, would help him argue for hundreds of millions of dollars in new facilities and manpower.
    Ask yourself, why did Whetsel not properly investigate deaths committed under his watch inside our jail? Why did several DOs have to charged with murder of an inmate before he made any attempt to make needed reforms? Answer: he was more concerned with presenting a “law enforcement” face on his job, than pay attention to his main job, properly running the jail.
    Ask yourself, why Whetsel did not order cameras be installed in the stairwells of the jail? Answer: it was a convenient place to take an inmate for “extracurricular” treatment. It also contributed to expensive tax payer funded settlements (millions of dollars). It also resulted in a near escape of violent inmates who knew the stairwells were unmonitored.
    Ask yourself, why Whetsel uses cameras to monitor the jail pods instead of staffing them as was designed? Answer: it allows him to hire fewer DOs and transfer those dollars to law enforcement activities and law enforcement toys.
    Ask yourself, why Whetsel approached former US Congressman Ernest Istook for federal funding for (not joking) a Harrier jump jet? Answer: because he is completely enamored with all sorts of law enforcement toys.
    Ask yourself, why Whetsel spends so much of his resources on law enforcement when most of Oklahoma County is made up of municipalities, all who have police forces? Why does Whetsel have a larger law enforcement division than the city of Edmond when unincorporated areas in Ok. Co. have only a fraction of Edmond’s populaton? Answer: because he uses law enforcement activities as a public relations device to stay in front of the public in order to further his political career.
    Ask yourself, why Whetsel does “check points” in municipalities like Oklahoma City instead of focusing on the unincorporated areas of the county? Answer: because municipalities only pay to house inmates their police arrest. If the sheriff’s department arrests them, the county taxpayers fund it. So of course, Oklahoma City is glad to pass the costs of housing drunk drivers onto the rest of the county taxpayers.
    Ask yourself, why should Whetsel remain sheriff of Oklahoma County when he has failed to honor his pledge to solve the problems at the jail? He pledge to solve the problems 16 years ago, but the problems are actually worse? Answer: he does not deserve to be re-elected. He deserves to be shown the door.
    Whether Whetsel is a Democrat or Republican makes no difference to me. What matters is that Whetsel has thoroughly failed in his duties as sheriff to address the most pressing responsibilities under his control. Running the jail is his first, most important function. He has failed. Thoroughly failed.

  7. Department of Justice Inspections

    In 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) began an investigation of the conditions at the Jail. It sent representatives three separate times in 2003 and again in April of 2007. The DOJ investigation resulted in a scathing report dated July 31, 2008, which concluded that “certain conditions at the Jail violate the constitutional rights of the detainees confined there.” DOJ found that the Jail fails to provide for detainees’:
    “(1) reasonable protection from harm;
    (2) constitutionally-required mental health care services:
    (3) adequate housing, sanitation and environmental protections; and
    (4) protection from serious fire-safety risks.”

    The DOJ went into great detail in describing the ongoing problems with the Jail, many flowing from understaffing. In the interest of brevity, we will not set out all of the DOJ concerns in this report. Most DOJ of the issues identified by DOJ were operational, not structural. DOJ noted a disturbing number of events of inmate-on-inmate violence and excess use of force by detention officers. The data provided to the Committee by the Sheriff’s office indicates that this issue has not improved since the DOJ report. In fact, the number of events of inmate-on-inmate violence has increased. The Sheriff’s response that we need a “higher quality of inmates” is unacceptable. (All emphasis mine)

  8. What the ADAC’s investigation found;

    Accounting Issues

    The Committee learned that a total of approximately $42M for the year 2007 – 2008 is dedicated to the Sheriff’s various operations.
    Other than grant funds which are earmarked, there is no separation of accounting functions. Sheriff has discretion to decide how the money is spent. ADAC did not receive any evidence of what is spent on the Sheriff’s other functions such as law enforcement and Courthouse security. We are told $31M is spent on Jail operation. But we do not know how the other $11M is spent. Sheriff Whetsel tells us he cannot allocate any of the remaining $11M to hiring of additional Detention Officer’s at expense of his other activities.
    We have been unable to determine what happened to the additional 50 Detention Officers authorized in August 2006. The number of Detention Officer has not increased by 50 since then or ever since the records we reviewed, which date back to 2003. Some of that is an issue of retention, but the fact remains that the County has allocated additional revenues from the General Fund to pay for 50 additional Detention Officers and Sheriff Whetsel has received the money for those positions, but the positions have not been filled. . . .Without that financial transparency, we doubt whether the public will support additional taxes to find construction and operations. (All emphasis mine)

  9. Understaffing
    It has been difficult for the Committee to determine the exact number of Detention Officers employed by the Sheriff’s office. In his September 30, 2008 Response to the DOJ Report, the Sheriff told the federal government that “Currently the Detention Center has 377 Detention Officers. This includes Lieutenants, Staff Sergeants, Sergeants, Corporals and Detention Officers.” This number was apparently intended to reflect the number of these positions that have been “authorized” by the Sheriff. At no time has the Jail actually employed 377 such officers. Furthermore, while the Sheriff has received an increase in allocation from the County General Fund from 2002 to 2008 of more than double ($12M – $28M), these funds have not been used to address the most critical problem in the safe operation of the Jail, understaffing. . . .Adequate Staffing is also a key recommendation of this Committee. It is an issue that can be addressed immediately. It does not require construction or remodeling. It simply requires the political will to hire, train and retain an adequate number of Detention Officers. (All emphasis mine)

  10. The Committee firmly believes that it is not a question of whether something is going to be done about the conditions in the Jail, but rather a question of whether something will be done voluntarily and under circumstances in which the County retains some control and some choice, or involuntarily, when ordered by a federal court. In the later case, the County will lose control and choices and the costs will undoubtedly be higher.

  11. It should be known when a local company was having it’s air conditioners stolen for the second time, local police were called 3 times, but did not have time to repond to the call. Only after the theives were followed to a recycling center by the business owner and the Sheriif’s office was notified were to thieves apprehended, by Sheriff’s Deputies. Yet the local police filed a bogus police report as though they responded to the call. The business owner has video proof the police never responded. Who really cares who the FOP is endorsing, they are not interested in the safety of Oklahoma City.

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