Only On 9: Embattled Ex-Police Chief Under Fire Once Again
FAIRVIEW, Oklahoma - A federal civil suit filed Friday details excessive force complaints against Charles Gadd, a former police chief in Major County.
He was scrutinized when video of an alleged attack inside the Major County jail surfaced in 2015.
Gadd was the interim police chief in Fairview at the time and could be seen on video handcuffing a suspect.
According to the lawsuit, Richard Hicks was arrested for public intoxication on Sept. 5, 2015.
He allegedly disregarded an officer's commands and tried to exit the building.
According to the federal lawsuit, cameras captured an assault that followed where Gadd allegedly wrestled Hicks to the ground, slammed Hicks' head into a mailbox, and choked Hicks in a jail cell.
"What is concerning is just the lack of oversight that a city might have over someone that they have step into the roll of police chief," said Dan Smolen.
Smolen is a Tulsa-based attorney who is representing Hicks. He said the City of Fairview should also be held responsible for the incident.
Gadd and the City of Fairview are named in the lawsuit filed Friday.
"When you're going to hire to serve, you should certainly do a thorough and extensive investigation into their background to make sure that they're not a danger to the public," Smolen said who also claimed Gadd has a history of violence.
Gadd was named in a previous lawsuit related to an excessive force complaint in Tulsa. No criminal charges were filed.
Fairview City Manager Paul Southwick said Gadd cleared a background check, but Southwick admitted the City knew about the excessive force complaint brought against Gadd while he was working as a resource officer in Tulsa Public Schools.
The allegations include slamming a student's head into a wall and repeatedly kicking another student
Southwick said Gadd denied the allegations during his interview with a former police chief.
The City had the best of intentions when hiring Gadd in March 2015, Southwick said.
Gadd later assumed the role of acting police chief.
City records show Gadd resigned from the position two months after the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) began looking into the jail incident.
The OSBI closed its case in August 2016.
To date, the Major County district attorney has not filed charges.
On Tuesday, prosecutors said they were unaware of any investigative reports on file in the DA's office.
However, Fairview city leaders cited a DA investigation into the matter and claimed the DA provided them with assistance in the City's handling of the incident.
Fairview City Attorney Bryce Kennedy said the City has also done its due diligence.
"We did investigate it. We told our insurance company the Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group about it, they investigated it and found no liability," said Kennedy.
He added they will fight the recent lawsuit.
Gadd resigned and no one can say where he is now.
CLEET confirmed he is inactive, which means he is likely not working in law enforcement.
News 9 was unable to reach Gadd in time for this report.