Oklahoma City's Police Union is asking the city manager and city council to suspend the police chief, after his four deputy chiefs complained the chief had threatened them.
About a dozen city cops sat in council chambers as the Fraternal Order of Police made the request. It’s in response to a complaint by the four deputy chiefs handpicked by Chief Bill Citty, who now accuse him of threatening their careers because they requested overtime pay they believe they’re entitled to.
“Any other time that an officer has complained or filed a complaint on a supervisor, that supervisor has been moved. They're not left in a position to be over them until an investigation is complete,” said Mark Nelson of the OKC Fraternal Order of Police.
Chief Bill Citty of the Oklahoma City Police Dept. said, "I would only disagree in the fact that every case is taken under individual circumstances and what's happened. So, in many cases they aren't suspended."
If the chief were to be suspended, one of the deputy chiefs filing the complaint could replace him on an interim basis.
"That would probably be an option,” said Nelson. “We don't see how it creates a conflict. There's nobody under them who is complaining on them. They are making an allegation very directly and very specifically."
When asked if he thinks this is a coup, Chief Citty replied, “They (Deputy Chiefs) have a right to file the grievance. I'm not going to get into that. I'm just not going to call it different things. I mean, they have the right to a grievance. It's going to be investigated."
City Council also appointed a new city manager to take over in January. One of his first orders of business could be dealing with this conflict between the chief and his deputy chiefs. For now, he doesn’t believe the chief should be suspended.
Under the circumstances, it's been evaluated where the situation is. That's not what’s needed at this point. While the investigation is going on, management can continue. And that’s where we stand,” said newly appointed City Manager Craig Freeman.
Nelson said, “I think it's a little premature to say what our next step will be. We've made an ask. We've made a request of council and city leadership. We'll see what their response is and that will probably dictate what direction we go next."
The mayor says the investigation should take a few weeks.