It was just last month that Daniel Holtzclaw was given this termination letter by Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty, saying he failed to respond or even appear at any of the hearings to plead his case.
Instead he filed a grievance with the FOP, who after looking at his case, chose not to represent him.
“He filed a grievance because he was terminated,” said Mark Nelson, the Vice President of the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police. “And we heard what evidence was available and decided not to pursue that grievance.”
Nelson said the Holtzclaw case is unique, considering the sheer number of charges against him, and the severity of them too. And he said it is pretty rare for an officer to be terminated before he or she has a chance to have their case heard in a court of law.
“It's certainly the exception to the rule,” said Nelson.
Daniel Holtzclaw has been in and out of court, and in and out of jail since last summer. He was charged with multiple felony sex crimes against women in his patrol area. He faces a total of 35 felony counts and one misdemeanor.
Nelson said normally the role of the FOP is to represent its own in good times and in bad, and to help defend a fellow officer who feels he's been wronged.
“There have been times that someone's come to us and say I didn't do this,” said Nelson. “Or I did this, but the way they are punishing me is extremely severe. And we'll pursue it. But there are times we don't pursue the grievance.”
Nelson said the FOP's own members and detectives took part in the investigation into whether Holtzclaw violated any department procedures and whether he was fired unjustly. They voted Holtzclaw had no grounds to file a grievance.
“That information was gathered by our own members, so that speaks volumes,” said Nelson
News 9 did reach out to Holtzclaw's attorney by phone, by email, even in person to get their reaction to the grievance being dismissed. So far, News 9 has not received a response.
Holtzclaw has a pretrial conference date set for March. A trial date has not yet been set.