Valley Brook trustee says firings are illegal, politically motivated

by Andrew Knittle Published: April 26, 2013

The recent firings of three Valley Brook town employees are illegal and politically motivated, one of the town's elected officials said.

Town trustee Lewis Nieman said a Valley Brook police officer, a code enforcement officer and a part-time city worker all have been fired within the past week, officially “for the good of the service.”

Nieman, who said he has his eyes set on the mayor's seat, said all of the employees had one thing in common.

“All of them had good relationships with me,” Nieman said.

“The acting mayor, well, she is retaliating against me because she knows I'm after her position.”

Donna Davis, the town's acting mayor, said the firings were perfectly legal and warranted in all three cases.

Davis, 77, also denied that the three city employees were let go for political reasons.

“Absolutely not,” Davis said. “Has nothing to do with being friends with anybody.”

Last week, Valley Brook police officer Ray Snow, code enforcement officer Sonya Ferguson and part-time town employee Terry Ferguson were fired. Each of them received a nearly identical termination letter.

Sonya and Terry Ferguson, who are married, were fired April 18. The couple's termination letters were signed by Davis.

Snow, who was issued a letter of reprimand in March for missing a firearms “requalification” class, was fired April 20.

Valley Brook Police Chief Mike Stamp signed Snow's termination letter, which instructed Snow to turn his town property over to another officer.

Snow has appealed his termination, stating that Stamp fired him for no good reason.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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