Seminole County Sheriff Said He Won't Resign

Friday, February 20th 2009, 7:34 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

WEWOKA, Oklahoma -- The Sheriff of Seminole County is still under fire, but he said nothing will make him leave his post. Not his recent conviction, not a petition seeking his resignation, and not even the chance of losing his right to carry a firearm will make him resign.

Keri Honsinger found a few people willing to sign her petition, calling for a new election to oust Sheriff Joe Craig.

"I don't believe anybody that is in a law enforcement position should be able to enforce the law when they themselves are a criminal or break the law," said Honsinger.

Earlier this month, the sheriff pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of supplying alcohol to a minor. The minor was James Taylor's granddaughter.

"Personally, I feel like we should put him on a rail and tar and feather and haul him out of town," Taylor said.

No matter how many signatures are collected, the petition will carry no legal weight. But CLEET, the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, is currently weighing whether to rescind the sheriff's authority to carry a firearm as a peace officer.

Sheriff Craig said he's not worried.

"If they did, it would just mean I couldn't carry a gun. I'd just have to go get me a big stick," the Seminole County Sheriff said.

The sheriff blames his current difficulties on local politics. It's clear he still has lots of support in town.

"I've known Joe for thirty or forty years, and I think he's always been decent," said Millard Yaught.

CLEET'S decision on the sheriff's certification is expected in a few weeks. Last year, Sheriff Craig was elected to a third term with more than 65 percent of the vote.