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Oklahoma City won’t release worker’s name in federal grant investigation

BRYAN DEAN Modified: August 28, 2009 at 7:13 am •  Published: August 28, 2009
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Oklahoma City continues to refuse to release the name of one of two employees placed on administrative leave during an investigation of the management of federal grant funds.

City officials said Monday that the director of the city’s Weed and Seed program, Ed Martin, was put on administrative leave while police investigate potential problems with the management of grants in the program. A second employee was put on administrative leave a day later. City officials did not release the second employees name and said Martin’s name also should not have been released.

Weed and Seed is a federal program allowing cities to get grant money to increase police enforcement in high crime areas and offer social programs to build up the neighborhoods in those areas.

City officials maintain the names are not a matter of public record because administrative leave is not a final disciplinary action as defined by the state’s open records law.

Administrative leave isn’t always a secret, however. City police routinely release the names of police officers put on administrative leave after being involved in a shooting.

"There is a significant difference between an officer-involved shooting and a personnel investigation,” assistant city attorney Richard Smith said.

The city has previously refused to release documents related to use-of-force incidents, including officer-involved shootings, saying they are related to personnel investigations.

"Initially, we know that an officer has been involved in an officer-involved shooting,” Smith said. "The officer’s name is released based upon the fact of that knowledge.