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Valley Brook trustee says firings are illegal, politically motivated

by Andrew Knittle Published: April 26, 2013

/articleid/3803813/1/pictures/2037528">Photo - Lewis Nieman He is a Valley Brook trustee.
Lewis Nieman He is a Valley Brook trustee.

“I feel Chief Stamp has created this hostile work environment towards me with (the) full intent of termination,” Snow wrote in his appeal. “Not because of my work performance, but because of my association with Town Trustee Lewis Nieman.”

Firings questioned

Nieman, 38, said he believes Snow and the Fergusons were fired illegally. He said city codes, at least the ones he's able to find at town hall, state that all personnel decisions — including terminations — must be approved by the Board of Trustees.

“We never voted on any of this,” Nieman said. “Like I said, I think the mayor is doing this because they were close with me.”

Davis, who called Nieman a “good trustee,” said he is simply ignorant to the way things are done in Valley Brook.

“This town has no charter,” Davis said. “We're under the statutes of the state of Oklahoma, so Lewis doesn't know a lot of things.

“He's lived here 10 years ... I've lived here about 30.”

Davis said she wasn't sure when Snow's appeal will be dealt with or even how it would be dealt with. She said she doesn't know if the Fergusons had filed appeals of their own.

“It's a legal matter, and it will be settled, probably during a special meeting with executive sessions,” Davis said. “That's probably how it's going to happen ... we take care of business.”

Davis also said she consulted with attorneys who represent Valley Brook, who told her the terminations — and how they were carried out — are legitimate.

Attempts to reach Valley Brook town attorneys Bob Thompson and Ray Vincent were not successful.

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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